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As the Canadian wildfires continue to produce smoke and haze, New Yorkers are feeling the effects of poor air quality in their area. This was strongly evident in early June, when skies were tinted orange from the ravaging wildfires from up north. Whether you are an HVAC customer or consumer concerned about your health and safety, understanding how best to protect yourself from these hazardous pollutants is critical for minimizing any existing risks. In this blog, we’ll be exploring what one can do to safeguard themselves against unfavorable air quality related to these wildfires. Read on for more tips on keeping healthy and safe during times like these!

Understand the difference between “smoke” and “haze” – Smoke is more dangerous and has more health risks associated with it


When it comes to air pollution (especially in regards to the Canada wildfires), there are different types of particles that can cloud the air we breathe. Two common terms used to describe the visibility of particulate matter are “smoke” and “haze.” While they may seem interchangeable, it’s important to understand that smoke is typically more dangerous than haze. This is because it contains higher amounts of harmful particles such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. The risks associated with smoke include respiratory problems, heart disease, and even premature death.

On the other hand, haze is mainly composed of fine particles that can affect visibility, but the health risks are typically not as severe as those associated with smoke. It’s important to keep an eye on air quality levels and take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from the harmful effects of air pollution.

Understanding MERV ratings and taking practical measures in light of the wildfires

The Canadian wildfires of 2023 had a devastating impact on the air quality in many parts of North America. In order to maintain healthy indoor air quality, it is essential that business owners take a number of practical measures — including closing their office’s windows, doors, and fresh air dampers at all times. This may seem counterintuitive in the summer heat, but this is where having an air purifier and being equipped with a quality HVAC system can help in the long run. Properly installed and maintained HVAC systems can reduce the amount of pollutants entering a space while also increasing energy efficiency. Moreover, this can be applied by taking MERV ratings into consideration.

MERV ratings help determine how effectively an air filter will capture particles from the air, allowing people to make better decisions when choosing an appropriate system for their indoor space. The MERV rating scale ranges from 1-20 with higher numbers indicating more efficient filtration of airborne particles such as dust mites, pollen, mold spores and other allergens. Higher rated filters (above 13) are usually used in commercial or industrial settings where very fine particulates need to be filtered out of the air such as viruses or bacteria.

HEPA filters are crucial for improving indoor air quality!

When combating the smoke from the wildfires, you should also look into HEPA filters, which are rated MERV 17 and above. One of the most important benefits of using a HEPA filter is that they have been proven to capture up to 99.97% of all airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger in size from entering into your living space. This means that if you suffer from allergies or asthma due to outdoor pollutants coming into your space through windows and doorways, then using a HEPA filter can drastically reduce those symptoms by trapping them before they enter the house. Additionally, because these devices trap microscopic pollutants like bacteria and viruses as well as large particulates like dander or mold spores, they can provide an extra layer of protection against illnesses caused by these tiny organisms floating around indoors.

Therefore, using high-quality filters with an efficient rating can help capture pollutants before they enter the home. Together, these measures not only help keep indoor air clean but also save money in the long run by reducing energy costs associated with running inefficient systems.

Learn about the air quality index – this will help you to assess how bad your area’s air quality is amidst wildfires

The air we breathe is essential to our existence, but have you ever thought about the quality of that air? It’s something we often take for granted, especially since we can’t see it. However, with the air quality index, we can now measure and assess the quality of the air around us — especially in light of the Canadian wildfires.

By understanding this index, you can gain valuable insight into how bad the air quality is in your specific area. This knowledge can help you make informed decisions about outdoor activities, such as running or playing sports. It’s time to take control of your health and learn about the air quality index.

Know what types of activities to avoid during wildfires, such as running or biking outside

When it comes to air quality amidst the wildfires, being informed is crucial to staying safe and healthy. While it may be tempting to go for a run or bike ride outside on a sunny day, it’s important to know which activities could harm you in the wrong conditions.

In times of bad air quality, it’s best to avoid outdoor exercise altogether, or engage in low-intensity workouts that won’t leave you gasping for air. Instead, opt for indoor activities like yoga, Pilates, or weight-lifting to stay in shape without compromising your health. By knowing what activities to avoid in poor air quality, you can safeguard your health and make the most of your workouts when the air quality is good.

Identify areas that are less smoky or hazy – these areas might have better air for breathing

As we become more conscious of the air quality around us, it’s important to identify areas that offer some relief from the often-smoky or hazy environments we’re used to. With better air comes better health, and there are certain places where this is more achievable. Some areas with lower smog levels could be parks or gardens, beaches, or even outskirts of a city. Taking a break in these spots, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, could provide a breath of fresh air – literally. By prioritizing our health and seeking out cleaner air, we can make small changes with big benefits.

Invest in an air purifier to reduce the amount of smoke and haze inside

With the increase in wildfires and pollution, it’s important now more than ever to invest in an air purifier. Not only can smoke and haze from the wildfires cause discomfort to your respiratory system, but it also damages the interior of your indoor space. Investing in an air purifier can greatly reduce the amount of harmful pollutants and allergens in your indoor air, creating a safer and healthier environment for you and your peers. With multiple options and sizes, air purifiers can fit any budget and space, making it a must-have for any space. Don’t let the smoke and haze invade your space any longer, improve your indoor air quality today with an air purifier.

Follow wildfire safety guidelines from your local fire department to protect yourself and your property

Wildfires can strike at any moment, which is why it is crucial to follow the wildfire safety guidelines provided by your local fire department. These guidelines are designed to help you protect yourself and your property from the devastating effects of these natural disasters. They could include tips on creating a fire-resistant landscape around your space, ensuring that your smoke alarms are working correctly, and having an evacuation plan should the worst happen. By meticulously following these guidelines, you’re effectively putting yourself in a position where you are prepared and well-equipped to deal with the threat of wildfires. Don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to your safety and the safety of your property. Follow the guidelines and be prepared to face any wildfires that may come your way.

Protecting yourself against poor air quality with Donnelly

In summary, it is essential to understand the key differences between smoke and haze, to keep track of your area’s air quality index, and to make sure that you are avoiding activities like running and biking outside while air quality is poor in light of the wildfires. Identifying areas with less smoky or hazy air can help you find a place to breathe cleaner air, while investing in an air purifier for your space can help reduce the amount of smoke and haze inside. Lastly, following wildfire safety guidelines from your local fire department is always recommended as it helps protect both you and your property. All in all, being proactive when it comes to smoke and haze can ensure that you remain safe and healthy during fire season.

At Donnelly, healthy indoor air quality is of utmost priority to us. We take delivering healthy IAQ to our clients seriously. Whether it’s through HVAC cleaning, maintenance, or both, the trained experts at Donnelly are here at your service, 24 hours, 7 days a week. To learn more about how Donnelly can help in these trying times, please visit our website and get in touch with us today!

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