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air purifiers for smoke

Air Purifiers for Smoke 2024

Do Air Purifiers for Smoke Really Work?

Bushfire smoke can cause severe health problems if inhaled directly. Smoke’s ultra fine particles can cause both short and long term damage to your lungs and respiratory system when they enter your body.

Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself from bushfire smoke and one of the best things is to invest in a high quality air purifier.

But can one of these devices really help eliminate the dangers of bushfire smoke? Let’s find out!

Can an Air Purifier Protect You From Bushfire Smoke?

The short answer is yes, using one in your house can be extremely helpful when there is nearby bushfire smoke. It will dramatically help to filter out the smoke, ensuring that it doesn’t effect your health and comfort.

What Pollutants Are in Bushfire Smoke?

Bushfire smoke is abundant with VOC gases and PM2.5 particles, both of which are toxic to humans and animals. 

When PM2.5 particles enter the human bloodstream, they cause severe complications in organ functions and may even lead to cancer down the line.

Similarly, VOC gases can be quite harmful. These gases include formaldehyde, ethane, acetaldehyde, benzene, aldehydes, toluene, and xylene.

How to choose the Best Air Purifier for Smoke

Here are some tips to help you select the right air purifier for smoke pollution. 

Look for a model with a true H13 HEPA filter

True H13 HEPA filters are very effective in eliminating PM2.5 particulates. With a success rate of 99.97%, particles as small as 0.3 microns will be removed with a True H13 HEPA Filter.

Make sure that the unit has an Activated Carbon filter

While HEPA filters are necessary to get rid of harmful particles that are emitted from bushfire smoke, they don't do a great deal to eliminate VOC gases. That’s where a the Activated Carbon filter comes in play. 

Activated carbon filters have what it takes to filter out VOCs and other gases emitted from bushfire smoke, so you air will smell fresh while being safe to breathe.

Stay away from Ioniser only purifiers

While ionisers can neutralise pollutants in the air, they are not effective for dealing with VOC gases and PM2.5 particles

There’s also one major design flaw with almost all ioniser-based air purifiers: ozone and formaldehyde emission. 

Avoid UV only machines

Despite the fact that UV can kill harmful bacteria and viruses, they’re not so valuable when combating bushfire smoke. 

There’s also the argument that viruses don’t get enough exposure time to the UV lights to be killed before passing through the filter. 

However, it won’t hurt if your model has UV lights, as long as it has a true HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. 

Ozone Generators are a Big No

Ozone is harmful to all living creatures, so make sure that whichever model you go for doesn’t have an ozone generator. 

How to protect yourself from Bushfire Smoke

Here are some tips to protect yourself in case a wildfire breaks out in your region:

Close All Windows and Doors

Even if the wildfire is hundreds of miles away, smoke can still reach your home. By ensuring that all doors and windows are closed, you’ll be able to prevent the majority of the smoke from invading your home. 

And while an air purifier will make things more tolerable, it won’t do much if all windows and doors are wide open. 

Also, make sure that your home is free of air leaks. For example, if you have a mail slot, try closing it as quickly as possible, even with something as simple as a some cardboard and tape will help to seal it up.

Wear a mask when you leave the house

While we recommend staying indoors when bushfire smoke is present, it would be a good idea to wear a face mask and goggles if it’s you need to head outdoors. These are designed to prevent harmful particles from entering your respiratory system and the goggles will protect your eyes.

If smoke has already found its way inside your house, you might want to consider wearing these items indoors, too.

Stay in rooms that have the fewest windows or fireplaces

Smoke will only get inside your house through openings like windows, doors, and fireplaces. By spending the majority of your time in a room with little to no gaps, you’ll be exposed to less smoke. Moving the air purifier (if you have one) to this room would be an excellent idea, too. 

Also, keep in mind that the filters in your machine will require replacement every once in a while based on the user instructions. So if the filters are clogged, it will not perform very well and can put extra strain on your machine.

Use a high quality Air Purifier for Smoke

Using a high-efficiency model with a true H13 HEPA  and Activated Carbon filter can quickly help remove bushfire and other smoke particles and gases out of the house. 

It’s important that you close the doors that lead to bathrooms and laundry rooms. These rooms almost always have ventilation ducts, acting as pathways for the smoke to enter your house. 

Use vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters

PM2.5 particles are airborne, but they may fall on your carpets and furniture after a while. In that case, an air purifier won’t be of much help.

Your best bet is to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove these particles. On the other hand, using a regular vacuum would do more harm than good and spread the particles in the air.

Final Words

To sum it all up, using an air purifier for smoke can protect you from contaminated air from bushfire smoke. Just make sure that it has a True H13 HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter to get rid of the harmful PM2.5 particles and VOC gases.

However, relying solely on one alone isn’t enough to keep you fully protected. Ensure you close all the doors and windows and wear protective gear for maximum protection. It’s also recommended that you only head outdoors when it’s necessary. 

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