Millions of acres of land in North America alone went up in flames in 2020 due to wildfires. Combine that with what we saw happen in Australia and some might say that the world has been figuratively and literally burning for the past few months.
With fire comes smoke and with smoke comes unhealthy living conditions which have led many people to ask us for tips on how to filter smoke or remove it from their homes. And by the way, smoke caused by natural disasters isn’t the only kind of smoke people were interested in removing.
Several people we talked to were curious about removing cooking smoke, incense smoke, and more.
To address all of your smoke filtration/removal needs, we’re sharing tips that should help keep your home’s air safe. Keep reading to learn what they are!
Open Your Windows and Doors
This tip, of course, is only worth exploring if the smoke source you’re managing is emanating from inside of your house. If smoke is being created outside, skip to our next suggestion.
Whether it’s poor kitchen ventilation or similar internal issues, cracking open windows and doors the moment you start to see your home filling with smoke is the best way to relieve the issue. Chances are, your smoke alarm will let you know when it’s time to start venting your house. Even if it doesn’t, be proactive and start venting since even semi-smoky houses can cause breathing issues, watery eyes, and discomfort.
Run Your HVAC
Whether you’ve got smoke inside or outside of your house, an HVAC that’s armed with a quality filter can help you with smoke.
HVAC systems will suck the air out of your home, pull new air in from outside, and run that air through a filter before blowing it into your home. This cycle should provide you with cleaner air in smokey conditions.
The key to making this tip successful for you is ensuring that you have the best AC filters you can get your hands on and that it’s in good shape. Bad filters filtering bad air can make problems worse.
Reverse Window Fans
For those of you trying to push smoky air coming from the inside of your house out, if you have window fans, you’re in luck. Many window fans have a “reverse” function that will blow air towards windows instead of towards your home’s interior.
If your window fan doesn’t have a reverse function, no problem! Just turn your fan around so its front-side is facing outside.
Window fans are excellent at blowing cooking smoke, cigarette smoke, and other in-house offenders out so long as they’re placed in windows that are close to your smoke’s source.
Invest in Plants
Several people swear by plants when it comes to air filtration questions. While we personally can’t attest to plants’ efficacy when it comes to having a tangible impact on your home’s ability to filter smoke, picking up some during fire seasons could be worth a try.
As far as which plants you should pick up, spider plant, English ivy, and peace lilies are all good places to start. We’ve also heard good things about Boston ferns and dwarf date palms. Those can be a little trickier to get your hands on depending on where you live though.
Purchase an Air Purifier
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are often the best ones. If you’re trying to filter smoke out of the air in your home, picking up an air purifier that’s sole job is air filtration is a safe bet.
As you shop for the best return air filter you can get your hands on, pay particular attention to the kinds of filters your hardware options use. Air filtration systems with flimsy filters aren’t going to do much to capture impurities. On the other hand, filtration systems that leverage thick, pleated fiber filters can have a big impact on your air quality.
Close the Gaps
When smoke is coming from outside, in order for your HVAC system or air filter to have the biggest impact on your air quality, you’ll want to mind the gaps. By that, we mean the small cracks that allow outside air to seep into your house.
One of the most common house cracks is the crack between your front door and the floor. Throwing a towel down to cover it is a great first step to keeping bad air out.
Other areas to keep an eye on are window gaps (closing curtains can help with this) and areas in attics and crawlspaces.
Vacuum Your Carpet
Once your smoke problem appears to be long-gone, you may find that chunks of it settle on your home’s surfaces. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to harboring smoke is your carpet.
Getting smoke out of your carpet so it doesn’t spit it back into the air is best accomplished by giving it a good, thorough vacuum. If you do that with a powerful, well-filtered unit, your lingering smoke problems will be gone for good!
Filter Smoke or Remove It Altogether the Moment You Notice It
Most people can tolerate smoke in small quantities. Tolerating something and thriving in it are two different things though.
Smoke, even when not massively present, can create all sorts of silent problems that may grow into bigger ones over time. To stay safe, the moment you think smoke could be a problem in our home, work to filter/remove it.
We hope our tips help to that end!
Want to learn more about how to filter smoke? Curious to explore additional healthy home tips? If so, check out the newest content on our blog!