Wildfires, Air Quality, & How to Combat Smoke Indoors


Wildfires can carry dangerous particles for thousands of miles, affecting air quality for geographic areas that may not even know there is a fire to worry about. Learn more about how fires affect air quality and what you can do to keep the air in your home clean.

Wildfire smoke

Smoke and harmful particulates from wildfires travel thousands of miles, affecting the air quality and causing health concerns for many. Even when you can’t see the smoke, your air quality may still be compromised. And because these invisible particles are unassuming, people do not take proper precautions, contributing to the fact that they are the most dangerous.

In this blog, we discuss how smoke from wildfires affects the population and the best way to combat smoke indoors. Plus, we also cover helpful FAQs.

The Impact of Smoke & the Most Affected Populations

The smoke from wildfires results in hazardous air pollution conditions for both local and regional scales. Fine particles (defined as particulate matter of PM2.5) are directly correlated with cardiorespiratory symptoms, tens of thousands of premature deaths, thousands of respiratory hospital admissions, and much more.

Everyone can be affected by smoke from wildfires, but the most vulnerable in our populations tend to be the most affected. The elderly, children (especially infants), people who are pregnant, those with medical and respiratory conditions, and others can have more serious side effects when inhaling the particles from wildfires. 

How to Combat Smoke Indoors

Even keeping the windows and doors closed when the air quality is poor does not prevent all harm from entering your home or office. Microparticles and VOC gasses will always find their way indoors through cracks and seals. The best way to combat this? Invest in a quality air purifier that can provide powerful air cleaning to protect your family, pets, or staff against these damaging particles. Airnow.gov recommends that you run your air cleaner at least whenever the air quality index (AQI) is 151 or higher. You should also regularly change out the filter in your central air and HVAC systems.

Best Air Purifiers for Wildfire Smoke

Smoke from fires can be eliminated from the air with an air purifier that features a HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air), activated carbon filter, and a high air change rate (4 or higher is best).

In addition to those features you will need to consider your space and determine how many air purifiers are needed to effectively clean the air. It is also important to replace the air filter as often as needed to continue to effectively clean, so an air purifier that includes an indicator for this can be helpful. You can also choose a certified machine that offers a CADR rating and AHAM Verified mark, which means they were tested in real-world conditions.

Top 7 Air Purifiers for Smoke 

With the above features in mind, here are our top rated air purifiers for smoke from fires, in order from largest to smallest coverage area.

  1. Genano 310 (up to 2,000 square feet)
  2. Trusenz Z7000 (up to 2,000 square feet)
  3. AP140 Pro (up to 1,400 square feet)
  4. Luft AP80 Pro (up to 968 square feet)
  5. Z3000 (up to 750 square feet)
  6. Aeramax DX55 (up to 400 square feet)
  7. Aeramax DX5 (up to 200 square feet)

Wildfires, Smoke, & Air Purifier FAQs

Still have questions? Here is a collection of our most common FAQs when it comes to wildfires, smoke, and air purifying machines. 

How does a HEPA filter protect against smoke?

HEPA is the gold standard for air filters and means it is capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns with 99.97% minimum efficiency. Wildfire smoke contains particles from 0.4 to 0.7 microns, which falls within the range of HEPA filtration.

How does a carbon filter protect against smoke?

Activated carbon filters remove gasses, odors, and VOCs that can be emitted from wildfires. When paired with a HEPA filter, carbon filters offer comprehensive protection and help eliminate the smell of the fire itself.

How far can wildfire smoke travel?

Smoke from wildfires can travel hundreds and even thousands of miles, affecting wide geographical areas with poor air quality. 

How do I clean the air from smoke?

In addition to a HEPA and activated carbon filtered air purifier, you should replace the air filters for your central air conditioner 

How long does wildfire smoke stay in the air?

Smoke can linger in the air for weeks after a fire has been extinguished. An air purifier with an air quality monitor is a great way to keep track of the impact in your indoor environment. You should also check AirNow.gov to see the outdoor air quality in your area.

Where should air purifiers be placed?

If you are getting a standard, standing model, then the best place to put the air purifier is nearest to the contaminate (such as the stove or fireplace) or closest to where you hang out most. Ideally it should be placed a few feet above ground level, such as on a small side table. You can also consider a wall mountable air purifier, such as the Aeramax Pro AM 4R

Do air purifiers help with wildfire smoke?

Yes. EPA studies report that the PM2.5 fine particles found in wildfire smoke can be reduced with air purifiers.

Do air purifiers really work? 

Yes! The National Library of Medicine reports that they can reduce particulate matter in the air as much as 68%. 

Clean Air, Always

Wildfires are a common occurrence across the world. While we cannot prevent the smoke from coming near our homes, we do have control over how clean our air is. With an air purifier that contains a HEPA and carbon filter, plus a high air change rate, you can keep the air your family breathes clean and safe from the dangerous particles.

Need help finding the perfect air purifier for your home, classroom, or office? Call our experienced sales reps for one-on-one support at 1-800-631-3572.

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