Local indoor air quality expert explains how to keep families safe inside during wildfires

Smoke Safety

While the extreme weather conditions continue throughout the Pacific Northwest, one local expert is reminding the community to stay safe not only outside, but inside.

Jeff Wamboldt owns the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning store Jacobs & Rhodes in the Tri-Cities. He said that since the wildfires have begun, there has been an increase in air filter purchases from homeowners.

The wildfires and the pandemic cause most people to spend their time inside, Wamboldt said. It is important to have clean air because children and elderly people are especially vulnerable to health issues caused by poor air quality.

“You want to protect your family and this is the simplest thing you can do to make sure everyone is breathing better with all the time they’re spending inside,” Wamboldt said.

To help combat the dust, smoke, and ash particles that come from the fires, he recommends switching out the filter once every couple of weeks to have the cleanest air possible.

Most filters run anywhere between $10-$40, but Wamboldt says new filters are a must.

“Normally it’s once every few months, but with these wildfires, there are special circumstances,” Wamboldt said. “Air quality can affect both short and long-term health and this is key for remaining safe.”