Wildfires can be a serious threat to your health and your home. The smoke and ash they produce can clog and damage your HVAC systems and machinery, so it's important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your home. The best way to do this is by using the right type of air filter. A MERV 11 filter is a good balance between cost and performance, but for wildfire season, you should opt for a higher rating.
Filters with a MERV rating of 13 to 16 can reduce interior particles by up to 95%. Pleated carbon air filters or bulk charcoal rolls can also help protect your HVAC equipment from smoke and ash. A MERV 13 air filter is a good option for fire smoke, as it is capable of filtering fine particles without restricting airflow. Some experts recommend MERV 13 or higher, but opting for a much higher version could be problematic unless the filter is only used in the short term.
The EPA also recommends using your home's central HVAC system as an air filter during wildfire season. When configured to recirculate air, it allows the air cleaner to purify the air inside without drawing more contaminated air from the outside. EnviroKlenz's patented terrestrial mineral technology provides toxic and harmful chemical removal capabilities in a filter. This is especially useful for wood smoke, which creates fine particles that are not commonly found in the air.
For those living in dry climate areas, in the Midwest where wildfires occur, or in an area with a proven history of seasonal wildfires, preparedness is key to keep you and your environment safe. The EnviroKlenz HVAC air filter is a highly effective option that can work against a variety of airborne pollutants, including chemical VOCs, harmful odors, and particles that are present in wildfire smoke. Activated carbon air filters are also effective at trapping odor-producing particles like smoke. Depending on the settings of your air conditioning unit, it may affect the risks of wildfire smoke entering your home.
Most home systems use a low-efficiency fiberglass filter that is 1 inch thick and has a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of 1 to 4.