Experts urge you to check air filters in car and home during fire season

TRI-CITIES, WA- With poor air quality being constant throughout the Tri-Cities, it is important to check on the condition of your air filters both in your car and home.

Having a clean air filter in your car can help you combat poor air quality when you travel. Not only does the filter protect you from poor air coming in but it also protects your vehicle too.

"That really affects how your car is going to run in general and also if it’s a cabin air filter, it is going to affect the air that you are breathing in, it could affect the A/C how hard it blows stuff like that as well," said A.J. Schneider who is a service writer at 360 Automative & Repair.

Most of the time when you get a routine oil change the service technicians will check your air filter. In extreme cases like on Monday where several drivers were stuck in a dust storm on the highway for hours, experts say you might want to get that air filter checked out sooner rather than later.

"You are in a lot more adverse almost hazardous conditions, so definitely it could clog it up a lot faster than a lot of people expect," said Schneider. "Because there is not a lot to stop and filter out that air, the ash or the dust or the dirt than just that air filter and it is almost like a vacuum and it pulls it up into the engine."

Just like a car the air filter in your home's air conditioning is just as important. It helps filter out the air in your home, especially on days where there is poor air quality. Experts say you should change those filters regularly to get the best results and during fire season even consider running the fan on the unit. 

"The biggest thing you can do is keep your blower circulating even if you aren’t cooling keep the blower circulating and filter the air all day long," said Jeff Wamboldt who is the owner of Jacobs and Rhodes Heating and Air Conditioning. "Just keep moving the air through your filter and making sure your filter is clean and can handle extra dirt and dust and these particles floating around in the air."

According to Wamboldt, if you keep on top of changing your filter you will see the best results. He advises that you make a system and schedule so that your air filter is always quality and your home is ultimately a healthier place to stay in. 

"You are just going to see probably less dust on the countertops and furniture and you are just going to feel better, you are going to notice the air is improved," said Wamboldt.