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Wildfire Smoke and Your Ducts

Posted on January 16, 2014
by Wendy Stackhouse

wildfire sky

The Colby Fire is very close to where our corporate office is located, in Azusa, California, so we are thinking about our neighbors and their homes and our air quality is at risk. In fact, officials are predicting Unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke for later today and recommending that people stay inside and run their air conditioners in the area if at all possible. No jogging or biking today!

There are precautions you can take even while staying inside if you live where there is danger of wildfires:

If you have central air, you can seal the fresh air intake duct until the smoke clears. Your air conditioning system will still work and this will prevent smoke and particles from coming in through this duct. 

If there is falling ash where you are, inspect your outdoor air conditioning unit to ensure that the condenser coils are not becoming coated or plugged with ash. Smoke residue and ash can accumulate on these coils. If they have become plugged or coated, you should have them cleaned as soon as possible. It is safe to turn off the breaker that runs to the unit and hose off the coils right away. Have your system cleaned when the danger has passed.

Do not run fans that pull in air from outside, like those in the bathroom.

Cover attic vents which let outside air in with plastic.

If you live in a wildfire-prone area, like we do, take precautions. Change your air filters often. Keep your ducts and vents clean. Stick to a maintenance schedule so that you are ready when a bad situation arises. And always follow the directions of safety professionals in a fire zone. Stay inside if they say to and evacuate if necessary.

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