Managing Buildings for Cleaner Air

During this extreme wildfire year we are all dealing with the effects of smoke in our lives. Several simple methods to manage homes or offices to minimize the concentration of inside smoke may help to improve your environment. 

Limit the door entrance to the building – Select a primary building entrance that has a double door system and keep doors closed when not in use.  Signs indicating to use the primary entrance should be placed at all other doors.  Do not lock or block these entrances for safety reasons.  Signs can be place in such a manner that they would need to be removed to gain entrance.

Air conditioning systems – AC units should be set to recirculate indoor air to reduce smoke intake.  Check your units to determine if they are capable of utilizing a medium or higher efficiency filter.  Filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) between 7 and 13 are effective at removing smoke particle and can be installed in many AC units.  High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA) are more expensive and are not always compatible with home AC systems.

Ozone Generators do not remove particles from the air and can cause respiratory irritations.  These devises should not be used.

Fans – These devises move are around the home or office to provide air circulation.  Fans can be placed facing doors to create a pressure block for smoke entering the building.  After the outside smoke clears building take several hours to change the air out so the fans can be faced in to help this.

Wear a N95 particulate mask indoors if these conditions exist:

  • Outdoor air quality is Very Unhealthy or Hazardous

  • You see smoke inside your building


Portable Air cleaners - Mechanical indoor air units remove particles by capturing them on filter materials that can be cleaned or replaced when needed.  Please follow your specific manufacture’s recommendations for best performance.  These units can be easily moved to areas of activity or work.  The cleaners all have a fan to move air through the filters that can be noisy.  Units with HEPA filters are more effective at removing indoor smoke particles.


Managing Building for Cleaner Air PDF