Hudson Valley residents are being told to stay indoors because of pollution from the wildfires, but how do you get that pollution out of your home?

Thanks to some crazy wildfires in Canada, we've seen the Hudson Valley transform into something that looks more like Mars than New York. A thick haze of smoke has enveloped the region, casting an eerie glow from the hidden sun that demonstrates just how thick that smog really is.

Those with health issues are being urged to stay indoors and even otherwise healthy people are complaining of eye irritation, sore throats and trouble breathing. While staying indoors may be the best bet, how can you keep these particles in the air from making your living room just as bad as the outdoors?

Masks don't work

First of all, it's important to note that wearing one of those disposable surgical masks or buffs will not do anything to help. Because the fine particulate matter is so small, it will go right through that mask and into your lungs. Respirators and those N95 masks we've all become accustomed to can do the trick, but they need to be worn properly.


If you have central air, use it

Shut all of your windows and crank up the A/C. A central air system will do a pretty good job of cleaning the air, as long as you have a quality filter installed. Normal filters generally catch dust and hair, but aren't rated for fine particulate matter. Upgrading to a HEPA filter and keeping your A/C fan on can extremely reduce the amount of pollution in your home.

Indoor air cleaners really work

An indoor air cleaner can rapidly reduce the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. HEPA air purifiers are relatively inexpensive and can filter out even the smallest matter that's floating around in the air. However, some experts say to avoid air cleaners that use ozone to capture those particles because it can actually make the air quality in your home worse.

Room air cleaners can be very effective for small spaces. While you may not be able to scrub your whole home, you can run one in a closed bedroom and create a comfortable place to sleep.


Reduce things that add to indoor pollution

Homeowners should address all sources of indoor pollution. While wildfire events like this are a concern, there are actually many more serious things that can affect the quality of your indoor air. Burning candles too long, cooking without a fan on, smoking and not having properly vented appliances degrade your indoor air quality much more than the occasional wildfire will. Reducing the amount of indoor pollution already in your home will help when outdoor conditions beyond your control start creeping in.

Wildfire pollution can affect your pool

Constant smog from wildfires can deposit particles right into your pool. It's important to make sure your filter is working properly, but those smaller particles most likely won't be cleaned by simply circulating the water. A pool clarifier will make those particles clump together so they're large enough to get filtered out. There are also enzymes that can melt away those fine particles. While just a few days of haze shouldn't have too much of an effect on the pool, it might be a good idea to give it a shock after things finally clear up.

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