A wildfire can take place due to natural causes or human activity. Ignition of wildfire results in a change of weather and climate as it releases excessive carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter into the air.
The emission of such gases and particles can cause a range of harmful effects on people’s health. Wildfire can be lethal, resulting in respiratory disorders and cardiovascular problems, adversely impacting all life forms.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), using air filters or cleaners can improve the air we breathe and eliminate harmful particles. They also suggest the features and standards that the best air purifiers for wildfire should have.
What Causes a Wildfire, and Why is it Harmful?
A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire that ignites large areas with combustible vegetation like dry grass, weeds, litter, etc. Natural wildfire can occur due to friction caused by the falling of tall trees or harsh sunlight. On the other hand, human activities seem to influence wildfire more than natural causes due to climate change.
Wildfire smoke can cause issues like:
- Burning of Eyes
- Running Nose
- Cough and Phlegm
- Difficulty in breathing
Apart from the above effects, people with heart or lung disease, older citizens, teenagers, children, pregnant women, and diabetic people are at risk of significant health issues.
How Can Air Purifiers Help with Wildfire Smoke?
Air purifiers help filter the fine particles released due to wildfire. It cleans the air extracted from the surroundings and traps these smoke particles within, thus releasing purified air in the surrounding it is installed in.
Best Purifiers for Wildfire Smoke
Plenty of alternatives might confuse buyers to decide the best air purifiers for wildfire smokee. There are certain features that an air purifier should have to make it a good option, like:
- HEPA filter: It stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, and its purpose is to remove 99.9% of dust, mould, bacteria, pollen, and many more airborne particles which are of size 0.3 microns. Before buying an air purifier, one should check if its filter meets S Department of Energy’s Standards.
- Prefilters: These filters are meant to remove larger dust particles, dirt, and even hair.
- Activated carbon filters: These filters are commonly used to remove gases and tackle Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) released from household gadgets.
The most suitable purifier should fulfil all these criteria.
How to Choose an Air Purifier?
EPA recommends people consider 3 crucial factors before purchasing an air purifier:
•CADR (Clean air delivery rate) It’s the rate that is high enough for the use of a person in it.
The table above describes the EPA’s guidelines for purchasing an air purifier that is suitable for different room sizes.
•Type of filter: It should mainly have a HEPA filter and, apart from that, a combination of other filters.
•The fan speed and its run time: The fan run time and speed should suffice the room. It depends on how small or big the room is.
Air purifiers are a must-have addition to the house not only due to air pollution caused by wildfires but also because of the pandemic. It prevents a lot of airborne diseases as well as relieves people who have respiratory system related complications. Air purifiers remove the harmful particulates and also sanitise the air.
You should remember that they require regular servicing and maintenance for best performance as they accumulate or collect dust within them.