Understanding Smoke’s Effect on Your HVAC System

Wildfire Smoke HVAC Effects in Modesto, CA

Your HVAC system stands up to a lot. This equipment doesn’t just heat and cool your Modesto, CA, home. It also filters out airborne particulates and other contaminants and regulates indoor humidity. Throughout most seasons, it works nonstop. Although you can take steps to minimize the amount of wear it sustains, not everything is preventable. This is certainly the case when it comes to smoke. Following is everything you need to know about the effects of smoke on your HVAC system.

Cigarette Smoke Can Have a Lasting Impact on Resident Health

If you or anyone else in the home smokes cigarettes, choosing to light up outside is always the best bet. Not only will this limit the amount of secondhand smoke that everyone is exposed to, but it will also keep your HVAC system smelling clean and fresh. Unfortunately, indoor cigarette smoke doesn’t necessarily have to come from smoking inside the building. If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, your HVAC system could be pulling smoke from neighboring units.

Cigarette smoke lingers in the air. It also gets drawn into the HVAC system. Once it does, it will coat the condenser coils of the air conditioner and leave a pungent coating all throughout your ductwork. Cigarette smoke can also leave your indoor air filled with the dusty remnants of every cigarette that’s been burned inside. Worse still, this dust will remain trapped inside of your ductwork for far longer than it will on your carpet, curtains, furnishings, or other indoor elements. Even if no one living in your home smokes, simply letting a friend light up while visiting can create lasting indoor air quality (IAQ) and health issues.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Residue in Your HVAC System

Whether you’ve recently hosted a party or have inherited an old, smoky house, having your entire HVAC system serviced is the only way to minimize or eliminate the lingering smell of smoke. A thorough cleaning of the ductwork can get rid of dust that’s carrying smoke residues and other smoke-related contaminants. Your HVAC technician will additionally clean the condenser coils and all other interior and exterior components. Installing a fresh air filter will further help these efforts along. You may even be advised to opt for a higher-rated filter to more effectively clean the indoor air.

Smelling Smoke When Your HVAC System Is Initially Turned On

Sometimes, smoke odors from your HVAC equipment aren’t the result of anyone smoking in or near the home. If you turn your HVAC system on and are greeted by a burnt and smoky or hot and dusty smell, this may be indicative of a mechanical or electrical issue. Turn the system off and schedule HVAC service right away.

Minimizing the Effects of Wildfire Smoke on Your HVAC System

Anyone living in California should be well-versed in offsetting the ravages of wildfire smoke on their HVAC systems. With downright dangerous air quality outdoors throughout the summer months and into early fall, Modesto HVAC systems and their air filters can take a veritable beating. Fortunately, this equipment can also give you a safe place to take shelter until the outdoor air clears.

When using your HVAC system during times of heavy wildfire smoke, you’ll want to be sure that all windows and doors throughout the home are tightly shut. If there are cracks, gaps, or holes in any building materials, seal these up so that smoky drafts don’t come in. You’ll need to put a fresh air filter in and make sure that the HVAC intake valve is shut. This will create an airtight environment so that the indoor air is being constantly circulated and recirculated throughout the building. This will ensure that smoky air isn’t being drawn in from outside and that any outside air that does leak in is being filtered.

After a wildfire smoke advisory has been lifted, you should thoroughly clean your HVAC system. Install a brand-new air filter, and set up an appointment for professional inspection and maintenance. Unless accumulated smoke residues are removed, the toxins that have found their way into your indoor air could be circulated throughout the living environment indefinitely. If prolonged exposure to wildfire smoke causes any significant damage or stress to your HVAC equipment, this visit will give your HVAC contractor the opportunity to catch and correct it.

Honey's Air & Solar has been serving residential customers throughout the greater Modesto, CA, area since 2009. We offer a comprehensive range of indoor air quality, water heater, and HVAC services. If you need to have your HVAC system serviced or cleaned to eliminate smoke odors, call us today to set up an appointment.

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