Enrique Quesada, Manager of Vernon Modern Purair franchise, shows off the difference between a new filter and a one-month-old filter that had been exposed to Okanagan smoky skies. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star)

HVAC system filters choked by smoke

Local experts said health risks associated haven’t disappeared now that the smoke has.

With a thick layer of smoke covering the province for a large part of the summer, experts are warning residents to clean the furnace and ducts in their homes and change the filters in their homes and cars more often.

Related: Okanagan air quality at a high health risk

Related: Air quality improves slightly

“With the forest fire smoke in the area it is more important than ever to replace filters,” said Neil Grant, Modern Purair expert. “It should be changed out every three months under normal circumstances with more frequent replacement necessary under current conditions. Now that the smoke seems to have cleared, there are things homeowners can do to ensure they are breathing clean air in their homes.”

Enrique Quesada is the manager of Vernon Modern Purair franchise and said he considers HVAC systems — including furnaces, air conditioners, duct work — the lungs of the building.

“The furnace constantly ‘breathing in’ and ‘breathing out’ while the system is operating, which you are then ‘breathing in’ and ‘breathing out’,” he said. “The furnace is the lungs of the entire system and the idea is that the “fresh” air outside be recycled and repurposed inside. The issue with the filters right now is that with all this smoke, the filters are getting entirely dirty. If the filter is plugged in, the smoke gets in that way and actually contaminates the inside.”

He said that he, as a professional working in the industry, is seeing these problems continue, and even increase now that it’s getting colder. He said that with smoke from the summer months now lodged in the furnace, it forces the motor to work harder, ultimately making it more vulnerable to break in the future.

Throughout much of the summer — up until mid-August — air quality across B.C. was at times considered a high health risk, ranking up to a nine on the Air Quality Health Index, a scale that shows the health risk associated with the air pollution we breathe.

 

This is a furnace filter from a home in the Okanagan which was brand new — white and clean — just three weeks prior. (Photo contributed)

Just Posted

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

Castlegar mayor releases FCM itinerary

Bruno Tassone delivers promised report on activities at Quebec City municipal conference

West Kootenay afternoon storms spark fires

Lots of thunder and lightning, and little rain, as system moves through region

Rainbow Road

Nakusp cuts ribbon on rainbow crosswalk

Nakusp cops warn of firebug

Call for assistance to stop person before a major fire starts

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read