MEDFORD, Ore. -- As wildfires rage across southern Oregon and Northern California, the air quality is dipping to unhealthy levels in some areas. Health officials are warning that the poor air quality could have an impact on sensitve groups and if you don't have to be in the smoke, then it's best to avoid it. But the smoke doesn't always stay outside and can creep into your home or business. That's where quality air filters come in to play. One heating and air technician says the air filter in the building will be your best defense from the smoke.
"Keep in mind that you should be changing them frequently," said technician Jeffrey Lents with Jahnke Heating & Air Conditioning". A lot of people will go months and months without changing until they get brown and dirty and by then it is already too late. You want to make sure you have the right size. It should be a tight fit. It shouldn't be loose or bouncing around or you might need to make some modifications to the filter itself."
Lents recommends changing the air filter once a month, especially during fire season. Other ways to keep smoke outside is to keep doors and windows shut. You can also turn your fan to 'on' as opposed to 'auto' to keep the air circulating. This way the system isn't bringing in smoky air from the outside but recycling air instead. You can also recycle air inside your vehicle.
For air quality updates, visit the Department of Environmental Quality's air quality index.