The household products we use every day, as well as appliances, furniture, and building materials, emit gases that can become trapped indoors. Many of these gases are pollutants that are harmful to health. Controlling sources of air pollution and improving ventilation are helpful to improve indoor air quality. Air cleaning/filtering devices can be used to reduce indoor air pollutants.
In the event of a wildfire, air filtering devices may help remove any ash, soot, and dust that have infiltrated your home. Sensitive populations especially should consider investing in an air filtering device if living near an area prone to wildfires.
Avoid hazardous ozone-generating “air purifiers.” Visit ARB’s website for a list of air cleaners to avoid and a list of certified air cleaning devices: www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/ozone.htm
Here are some strategies for selecting the most efficient air cleaner that will not have any harmful side effects:
- If you live in an area prone to wildfires and are sensitive to pollution, buy an air cleaner before a wildfire. During a wildfire, it may be hazardous to go outside.
- Select a mechanical air cleaner with a fiber or fabric filter. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are the most efficient. Filters should be tightly sealed in their containers and cleaned or replaced regularly.
- Make sure to select the right size filter for the size of your room. Room air cleaners should filter two or three times the room volume per hour. The packaging on most units will tell you the unit’s airflow and the room size it is suitable for.
For more information, see the following information from the California Air Resources Board