Insulate to Shield Your Home From Outdoor Pollutants
Most Americans experience four seasons a year, but we in the Pacific Northwest are accustomed to a fifth: wildfire season.
Wildfire season historically has begun in late spring or early summer and stretched into October and sometimes November. Now it is burning its way right into winter. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, “What was once a four-month fire season now lasts six to eight months.”
Insulation is one of the best ways to add a layer of warmth to your home, while also protecting it from outdoor pollutants. The smoky haze that blankets so much of the western United States this year likely will linger long after fire season officially ends. You want to be sure you are doing everything you can to keep it out of your home.
Health Consequences of Smoke
Wildfire smoke consists of gases and particles from trees, plants, houses, and other buildings that burn. Inhaling smoke can cause asthma attacks, headaches, stinging eyes, coughing, breathing and sinus problems, chest pain, and increased heartbeat.
Pregnant women, children, and persons with asthma, other respiratory diseases, and heart diseases are especially susceptible for adverse effects from wildfire smoke.
Adding a high-efficiency filter to the HVAC system in your Bend home, running a portable air cleaner, and avoiding the use of aerosol products, fireplaces, candles, and tobacco can improve indoor air quality (IAQ).
Insulation can block outdoor pollution, including smoke, and help reduce energy bills. It adds warmth during winter and keeps heat out during summer.
Insulating Your Home
HomeRx professionals can help you determine what kind of insulation you need and where it should be installed to achieve your comfort goals. We are installation pros and have insulated crawl spaces, basements, attics, walls, ceilings, and ductwork in homes throughout Bend.
Weatherizing your home by pairing insulation with air sealing is a powerful way to enhance comfort and energy efficiency.
Air sealing plugs the cracks and gaps in your home that allow conditioned air to escape and polluted outdoor air to enter. Our HomeRx weatherizing experts find those holes and seal them.
Spray foam insulation may cost more than batting-style insulation, but it creates an airtight barrier between outdoor elements, such as wildfire smoke and your living space. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), that air barrier “can eliminate some of the other costs and tasks associated with weatherizing a home” such as caulking.
In addition to improving indoor air quality by blocking outdoor pollutants, foam insulation can help control moisture in your Bend home and prevent mold growth. The barrier it creates keeps conditioned air indoors and reduces outside noise.