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Wildfire Smoke and How to Deal With It
There will come a day or two a nearby forest fire will smoke up your city causing unhealthy air conditions. There is a very easy method you can use to clean up the air in your home even in very heavy smoke conditions outside. Also, people who suffer from pollen allergies will find wonderful relief too!
BUY A SWAMP COOLER
If you have a window swamp cooler (evaporative cooler) just turn off the fan, turn on the water pump, make sure you have closed foam evaporative pads installed (Aspen pads have too many wide holes to filter air) put a pedestal fan 12 inches from the cooler vent, turn on the pedestal fan to low speed. This will slowly pull smoke-laden air past the closed-cell foam pads removing the smoke particles and odor. The water will absorb these pollutants and the air entering you home will be cooled and void of odor. Yes, clean air to breathe.
You must keep at least one window open downstream of the smoke direction, but only about 3 inches is fine. A bedroom window is best to get a good night's sleep. It is also advisable to have a bleed system installed on your swamp cooler so the contaminated water is automatically ejected from the cooler. You should have one of these anyway as they keep calcium deposits inside the cooler way, way down.
What If You Have a Roof-Mounted Cooler?
No problem. Just do the same as above, but you can place the pedestal under the ceiling vent which will still pull a small air volume enough to "filter" the smoke out of the air.
How Big of a Cooler is Needed?
Amazingly the smallest window size swamp cooler you can buy will work just fine. Bigger is not better. What you want is a water curtain, a wall of water on the cooling pads which a small portable fan can draw air slowly past the filtering pads. You can not use the cooler system fan as it is too powerful and will only draw smoke past the water droplets and the wet pads.
What About Humid Areas?
This cleaning of the air is not reliant on evaporation to generate cooling so air filtering of pollutants will work even in high humidity areas of the country.
Which Cooler Pad is Best?
Dura-Cool brand made by Dial Manufacturing I found is best as the foam is the most closed-cell compared to other brands of cooler pads. Lowes and other hardware stores sell rolls and sheets for swamp coolers. Look for the blue color. This item costs a bit more, but it is superior for cooling the air and filtering out smoke odors.
Will a Portable Evaporative Cooler Work?
Yes. Just roll it into your home, turn on the water pump along with the portable fan in front of the cooler. Just be certain your pads are foam or paper type not the Aspen type. A window behind this cooler and in the bedroom does not need to be open as you are simply cleaning and filtering the air already inside the home. The best system is the window or cieling mounted coolers, but the portable cooler will help a great deal.
What Many People Do Wrong
There are many people who have swamp coolers out west and they keep them shut off when smoke is outside, or they put on the water pump and then turn on a ceiling fan in the home. That will not work. The ceiling fan only circulates air inside the home and will not "draw" air from the water cooler filter pads.
Many people purchase portable humidifiers but these small devices just can't filter enough of the air inside the home.
Many people evacuate their home to stay in motels out of town to escape the smoke. This is expensive as the smoke can linger for weeks. Just invest $200 for a small swamp cooler and it will serve you well for dozens of years. No more motels rooms. Just stay home and enjoy.
Most people do nothing and just suffer with the smoke odor. Just go buy a small window mount evaporative cooler, or a portable unit on wheels and suffer no more. Then tell your friends and neighbors about his article so they too can benefit. - JamesRussellPublishing.com
Do These Swamp Coolers Really Work?
Yes and better than you thought it ever could. No matter how filthy the outside air is the swamp cooler operated as described in the article will filter out the most smoke-filled air (including pollen). If you can't see the next block of homes due to the smoke, like a heavy fog outside, you will still have clean air in the home. No matter how large your home is, one small window cooler will clean all of the air in the home. And best of all these coolers are quiet and use very little electricity to operate. And, if the day and night is hot in the summer with low humidly you will still get some cooling. Even a small portable generator can be used to power the water pump and portable fan if utility power fails.
How Big of a Cooler is Needed?
Amazingly the smallest window size swamp cooler you can buy will work just fine. Bigger is not better in this case. What you want is a water curtain, a wall of water on the cooling pads which a small portable fan can draw air slowly through the swamp cooler filtering pads. You can not use the cooler system fan as it is too powerful and will only draw smoke past the water droplets and the wet pads. A gentle flow of air is all that is needed. In fact, the slower the air is pulled past the cooler pads the cleaner the air will be.
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