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Kelowna  

Air filters can't keep up

While air quality in the Southern Interior has improved over the past 24 hours, it doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet.

Despite cooler temperatures associated with smoky skies, air conditioning systems have still been working overtime, which could be causing as many air quality issues inside as out.

"What a lot of people don't realize is the lungs of the home are the ductwork," says Neil Grant with Modern PURAIR.

"Our homes, with the new building codes we have, are so air-tight they need to bring air from the outside in. People seem to have this misconception that a home is supplying its own air.

"What people don't realize is when the home needs fresh air, it's drawing it directly in."

Grant says that is resulting in people with respiratory ailments having difficulties inside as well as outdoors.

When they check their furnace, they are finding filters that are totally black.

Grant says filters should be replaced on a weekly basis until the smoke subsides, but adds people with respiratory issues should check the type of filter they are using and upgrade, if necessary.

Most homeowners use what is known as a MERV 8 filter, which filters .03 micron particles at 35 per cent efficiency.

"If that's black," he says, "you can only imagine what's going through and recirculating through the home that you can't see."

"For people with major indoor air quality issues or respiratory conditions, we recommend upgrading to a HEPA-grade system, which is hospital quality air."



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