Smoke blanketing the outdoors, invading people's homes

By Chad Klassen
August 9, 2017 - 3:34pm Updated: August 9, 2017 - 6:38pm

KAMLOOPS — The thick smoke blanketing Kamloops is keeping many people indoors. But that doesn't necessarily leave you in the clear when it comes to smoke and particulate. 

As the smoke drags on, residents are calling on furnace cleaning companies to lessen the impact inside the house.

"The smoky air is really harmful for peole's respiratory systems. It can cause sneezing, fatigue, wheezing, coughing," said Bob Bauer, owner of Total Vent Service.  
Dennis Berube doesn't suffer from a respiratory condition, but he can feel the smoke and particular inside his home. 

"It's been pretty thick, and inside the house, even with the windows all closed, the air conditioning running, you can smell the smoke in the house," he noted. 

Total Vent Service is helping Berube clear the air out of this house, sucking out all the particulate matter from the inside out.

"It removes all the dust right from your house," said Bauer. "We don't bring equipment in to do the cleaning. The dust and the dirt, and all the nasty particulates, go straight out of the furnace and straight to my truck, and it's removed from the house."

Gary Bridal-Fisher from Kamloops Heating and Air Conditioning says the MERV 16 filters are the most effective models to keep all the smoke out. 

"MERV rating is for minimal efficiency rating value, so that basically is how small of particulates the filter can actually capture. So MERV 1 is the lowest, MERV 16 is the highest," said Gary. "One thing that people need to be concerned about, though, is that not all air filters are the same. So just because it has a higher MERV rating, it might catch more particulates but might be very hard on your equipment. Talking to your HVAC specialist is pretty important when it comes to deciding what filter you want to buy."

Furnace filter are selling fast. Places around Kamloops like Home Hardware can barely keep up with the demand. 

"Furnace filters have been moving out of here faster than I can bring them in," said electrical manager at Home Hardware Chris Peterson. "I bought six boxes of 16x20 furnace filters yesterday afternoon and we were out by this morning."

People in this smoke are changing their furnace filters every three weeks instead of the norm, which is every three months. It's all in an effort to keep the smoke and particulate out of their home. 

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