Air Pollution

Sore Throat from Wildfires? Invest in Indoor Air Quality

Wildfires have always been a problem for Northern Colorado residents, but never quite to the degree that we’ve seen these past few years. In fact, 2020 alone saw a record-setting blaze drape the entire front range in a choking, orange haze. Couple this with the Coronavirus outbreak forcing more of us indoors for longer periods of time, and you have a recipe for very poor indoor air quality.

How Wildfires in the Mountains Impact Your Home’s Air

A few weeks back from this writing, it may have been more difficult to convince Northern Colorado residents of the direct impact fires have on our communities and in the air of our homes, but the recent fire season has likely proven that point for us to some degree.

But just what is going on? Why and how does smoke outside of our homes cause a drop in our indoor air quality?

Fires Create Dangerous Outdoor Air

Here’s where we tell you what you already know: during a wildfire, surrounding areas are likely to have dangerous outdoor air. While that’s not a shocker to local residents, what may come as a surprise is just how much worse the air can get.

Under normal conditions, we enjoy impressively-clean outdoor air when considering the size of the metropolitan area in Northern Colorado.

During a wildfire, however, that can jump dramatically in the other direction.

For example, a normal AQI (Air Quality Index) for Fort Collins is around 20-30. During a nearby wildfire, that number jumped to over 200. As you can imagine, lower is better on this scale. Check out the Colorado Air Quality Report from the Department of Public Health & Education to see today’s conditions, as well as those in recent days.

To put this into perspective, that’s worse than an average day in Dubai, the most polluted city on the planet.

Since our residents are obviously unaccustomed to this level of air pollutants and, in many cases, have not employed solutions against this level of air quality, wildfires can pose a serious health risk.

Some Outdoor Air Will Get In

Despite the massive leap forward we’ve taken in constructing homes with energy-efficient windows, doors, siding, roofing, and more, particles from the outside still find their way into even the most well-constructed homes. While you should try to keep windows and doors closed as much as possible, it is important to recognize that alone will not be enough to keep all outdoor contaminants out.

During a wildfire, this means that your indoor air quality will also drop as a result of the added particles present in the outdoor air.

These particles can cause or irritate the following, even if you remain indoors:

  • Burning eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Illnesses, such as bronchitis
  • Agitate chronic conditions, such as asthma, allergies, and certain heart and lung diseases

Wildfires Have Become More Likely

Colorado climate scientists say that we should expect to see more wildfires like we’ve seen in 2020, according to reporting from Colorado Public Radio. Anecdotal, anyone that’s lived in Northern Colorado for a decade or more can attest that fires have been more likely to start and have burned for longer in recent years than any in memory.

This is likely due to Colorado’s average temperatures rising and the driest parts of the year being even more dry than usual. This recipe creates the perfect conditions for wildfires to start (and continue) across the state.

We’re Spending More Time At Home

Under normal conditions, the top pollutant in most homes would be its residents. Dust from skin and hair combines with chemicals and other contaminants from our possessions to create contaminants that can swirl around in the air for far longer than you’d like to imagine.

Since we’re now spending more time at home than ever amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the indoor air quality of our homes is likely at a lower spot than it normally would be when parents are off at work and children are spending time outdoors or in school.

Couple this together with choking smoke from a wildfire, plus the contaminants in the air entering our homes anyway, and you have a recipe for far worse indoor air than you may have come to expect from your home.

We Can Help

At Lion Home Services, we’re happy to help homeowners increase their home’s indoor air quality with our Whole House High-Efficiency Air Cleaner systems. We use solutions for trapping or eliminating the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in your home to greatly reduce the contaminants in the indoor air.

Check out everything our team has to offer your home and decide if an indoor air quality addition to your home’s existing HVAC could be just the thing to keep your home’s air fresh and clean regardless of what is happening in the world outside.

Find your next indoor air quality solution today!

Air Pollution

Reducing Air Pollution in Your Home

At Lion Home Service, we understand how dangerous it can be to have high levels of air pollution in your home. There are many sources of air pollution that can be minimized to improve the quality of the air that you’re breathing. You can also take steps to remove pollutants from your air once they have entered your home.

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution can come from a variety of sources and cause health issues. Whether you’re worried about asthma getting worse or getting sick from bacteria or viruses, keeping air contaminants out of your home is important.

Harmful pollution can come from:

  • Cleaning products
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Fireplaces
  • Smoking

Contaminants can get into your HVAC system and circulate throughout your building and degrade the air in a building. Indoor air pollution tends to be worse in the winter when windows and doors are closed and air circulation is minimized.

Steps to Minimize Exposure

Here are a couple of ways that you could minimize your personal exposure to harmful pollutants.

Maintain Your HVAC System: Keeping your air filters clean can keep dirt from getting dislodged and entering the air stream. You can also have a professional install an air purifier in your home to clean the air.

Ventilate Your Home: Keeping windows and doors open whenever possible will allow fresh air in your home and prevent the buildup of harmful chemicals or particles in the air. In the winter, open a window whenever it’s warm enough to encourage airflow in your home.

Our Trusted Indoor Air Quality Services

At Lion Home Service, we’re proud to offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee on all of our services. We’re fast and reliable, and we care about the well-being of all of our customers. Our service experts are highly experienced and friendly.

Call us at Lion Home Service today to see how we can help you reduce air pollutants in your Fort Collins, CO, home. Call us for other services, too. We offer heating, cooling, duct cleaning, electrical, insulation, and drain repair services.