An El Nino predicted weather pattern means that some states have a higher than normal chance of bushfires. Bushfires can affect people who are far from the fire front, and this is because the smoke poses a danger to anyone who breathes it. If you are new to a state that experiences bushfires, you probably don't know how to best keep this smoke irritation to a minimum. Since it is not practical to move out of home every time you see a smoke haze, it is important you are aware there are two things you can do to your air conditioner to help reduce the impact the smoke has on the health of you and your family.
Change The Filter
Unless your air conditioning filter is brand new because you changed it today, put in a new one as soon as you become aware bushfire smoke is headed your way. There are many different size particles that make up the smoke from a bushfire, and a brand new high- efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter installed into your air conditioner will catch the larger particles that make it into your home.
Adults who are healthy will find that once the smoke particles make it indoors, they will experience itchy eyes, a runny nose and some chest congestion. Elderly people and young children may struggle to breathe if too much smoke pollution gets into the home. This is because their lungs don't have the same strength as those of a healthy adult, so they have trouble filtering the pollution particles once they enter the body.
Change The Settings
An air conditioner draws fresh air from the outside, passes it through the filter, cools it, and then delivers it into your home. When the air outside is no longer fresh because of bushfire smoke, you need to stop it drawing from this polluted air source.
Check the settings function on the thermostat box of your air conditioner, and change the setting to 'recycle' or 'recirculate.' This will continue to filter and move the existing air through the home, without adding any new smoky air from outside. If you cannot figure out how to change this setting on your air conditioner, call your air conditioning technician to get them to walk you through the process.
Once you have been made aware by the media that bushfires are in your area, be on standby to make these changes to your air conditioner. The more smoke pollution you can keep out of your home, the easier you and your family will be able to breathe.