wild fires & indoor air quality

Wildfires emit a cocktail of hazardous air pollutants, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon monoxide. These pollutants not only deteriorate outdoor air quality but also infiltrate indoor environments. As a result, residents in wildfire-prone regions are at risk of breathing in polluted air, which can lead to various health issues.

The Role of Pleated Air Filters

One effective strategy to combat the infiltration of wildfire smoke and pollutants into indoor spaces is the use of high-quality air filters. Among the various types of air filters available, MERV 13 pleated air filters stand out as a reliable choice.

MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a rating system that indicates the effectiveness of an air filter in capturing airborne particles. MERV 13 filters are designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns with an efficiency of at least 50%, making them well-suited to combat the fine particulate matter emitted by wildfires.

Here’s why MERV 13 pleated air filters are essential during wildfire events: 

Fine Particle Filtration: Wildfire smoke contains tiny particles that can easily infiltrate indoor spaces. MERV 13 filters are highly effective at capturing these fine particles, reducing indoor air pollution and protecting the health of occupants.

Improved Indoor Air Quality: By removing airborne particles and allergens, MERV 13 filters significantly enhance indoor air quality, providing a safer and more comfortable environment for residents.

Health Benefits: High-efficiency air filtration helps reduce the risk of respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems caused by exposure to wildfire smoke.

Extended HVAC System Life: Using MERV 13 filters can also prolong the life of your HVAC system by preventing dust and particulates from accumulating on sensitive components.

Augmenting Filtration with Carbon Filters

While MERV 13 pleated air filters excel at capturing fine particles, they may not be as effective in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odors, which are also common components of wildfire smoke. This is where carbon air filters come into play. Carbon air filters contain activated carbon, which has a high adsorption capacity for VOCs and odorous compounds. When used in conjunction with MERV 13 pleated filters, carbon filters provide a comprehensive solution for indoor air purification during wildfires.

Here’s why carbon air filters are an invaluable addition:

VOC and Odor Removal: Activated carbon effectively adsorbs VOCs and odorous molecules, ensuring that indoor air remains fresh and free from unpleasant smells.

Comprehensive Filtration: Combining MERV 13 pleated filters with carbon filters offers a holistic approach to air purification, addressing both fine particulate matter and chemical pollutants.

Enhanced Health Protection: The removal of VOCs is essential for protecting respiratory health, especially during wildfire events when these compounds are prevalent in the air.

Odor Control: Carbon filters help create a more comfortable indoor environment by eliminating the smoky and acrid odors associated with wildfires.


The increasing frequency and severity of wildfires in Canada necessitate a proactive approach to protect indoor air quality. MERV 13 pleated air filters and carbon air filters, when used together, provide a robust defense against fine particulate matter, VOCs, and odors associated with wildfire smoke. By investing in high-quality air filtration systems, homeowners and businesses can ensure that their indoor environments remain safe, clean, and comfortable, even in the face of nature’s fiercest challenges. Prioritizing indoor air quality is not just a matter of convenience; it’s a critical step in safeguarding the health and well-being of those living in wildfire-prone regions.