Even in homes that didn’t suffer actual fire damage during June’s High Park Fire, polluted air from wildfires had a negative impact on air quality, even in urban areas and up to several counties away from the site of the fire.
Wildfire smoke is made up of fine particles produced when wood and other organic matter burn, and when it enters the home, particles settle on horizontal surfaces; penetrate upholstery, drapes and insulation; and adhere to electronic components. Pollutants can be circulated throughout the home even after the fire is extinguished.
Wellington Ace Hardware, 4104 E. Jefferson in Wellington, and several Ace Hardware stores in Northern Colorado have teamed up with Filtrete Brand Filters to help ease the burden of post-fire clean up and help improve the air quality in homes by providing local residents with one free Filtrete Filter per household. Free filter coupons can be printed at www.myhelpfulace.com.
Ace Hardware offers the following tips for improving indoor air quality after a fire and throughout the year:
· Use a Filtrete Filter from 3M with a microparticle rating (MPR) of 1,000 or higher to help capture microscopic airborne particles such as smoke and smog from the air passing through the filter. By running your fan continuously you can increase the circulation of the air in your home, therefore capturing more ash and smoke particles. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends changing air filters monthly for one full year after a major fire.
· Consider having HVAC units and all ductwork professionally cleaned.
· Use a Filtrete Room Air Purifier as an additional effective way of helping to remove particles in the home. Ash and soot on the ground and vegetation will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when disturbed by air movement.
· Clean electronic components, refrigerator condenser coils and fan, and other charged surfaces and appliances that might attract particulates.
· Disinfect and deodorize carpets, window coverings, upholstered furniture and mattresses with steam or utilize a spray-on deodorizing product. Stay clear of odor-masking sprays.
· Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution. Do not burn cigarettes, candles or incense, and decrease your use of gas and propane appliances.
Ace Hardware stores in the Rocky Mountain region teamed up with Filtrete Brand from 3M to support residents affected by recent wildfires in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. Estimated retail value of the donation in total is $100,000.
A complete list of participating stores can be found at www.myhelpfulace.com. Quantities and sizes vary by store, offer is good while supplies last, no purchase necessary.