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Wildfire smoke in a large city

Do Air Purifiers Work for Wildfire Smoke?

There’s nothing worse than staring out your window into the dense orange sky knowing you’re completely surrounded by wildfire smoke. It’s like a health warzone out there that even Smokey the Bear couldn’t prepare you for.

If watching ash fall from the sky like rain has you worried about the health risks it poses to you and your family, then you’re not alone. With the world’s increasing concerns about air pollution and its impact on our health, the role of air purifiers in combating wildfire smoke has become a hot topic. So if you’re here wondering, “Do I need an air purifier for wildfire smoke?”, then this article was made for you.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air purifiers with high efficiency filters can reduce indoor particle concentrations from wildfires by as much as 85 percent. So it goes without saying that air purifiers can be a game-changer in improving your indoor air quality.

In this article, we’ll help clear the air on:

So let’s get that smoke eliminated!

How Do HEPA Filters Remove Wildfire Smoke?

HEPA filters have become very popular for those seeking relief from the negative effects of wildfire smoke. As wildfires continue to become more common and severe, many are turning to air purifiers with HEPA filters as a way to purify their air and improve indoor air quality. But do you need a HEPA filter for wildfire smoke?

HEPA, which stands for high-efficiency particulate air, is a type of filter that is capable of removing all types of microscopic particles from the air. These filters are made up of a dense layer of fine mesh that capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, including wildfire smoke, dust, and other airborne irritants.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), wildfire smoke is made up of small particles, gasses and water vapor. Water vapor makes up the majority of smoke. The remainder includes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, irritant volatile organic compounds, air toxics and very small particles. HEPA filters are capable of capturing these very small particles like ash and soot, and preventing them from circulating throughout your home and you breathing them in.

But HEPA filters don't just trap wildfire smoke. They can also capture other common indoor air pollutants like dust, pollen, and mold spores. And if you or someone in your home is a smoker, then check out our article, “Do air purifiers help with smoke?” to find out how they can help with that too!

Woman sitting next to an air purifier in her living room

How Do Air Purifiers Help with Smoke from Fires?

When wildfires rage, smoke can become a serious health hazard, especially for those with respiratory issues. Luckily, air purifiers are an effective tool for removing wildfire smoke from the air and improving indoor air quality at the same time.

So, how do air purifiers work on fire smoke? Air purifiers work by drawing in air from the room and filtering out pollutants, including smoke particles, smells, and harmful gasses. Air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters are designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, including smoke, soot, ash, and other airborne contaminants and prevent them from being circulated back in the room.

However, when smoke from wildfires enters your home, it can bring more than just smoke particles with it, it can also bring bad odors and toxic gasses. Air purifiers utilizing activated carbon filters can help remove these smoke-related odors and gasses from the air. They do this by adsorbing smoke particles and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), neutralizing their smells and reducing wildfire smoke’s harmful chemical effects on your body.

Can Air Purifiers Help with Wildfire Smoke? Yes!

Air purifiers can be a valuable tool in the battle against wildfire smoke, helping to improve indoor air quality and reduce the presence of smoke-related particles and chemicals. However, they are not a magic bullet and should be used in conjunction with other preventive measures to ensure the best results. Proper ventilation, sealing gaps, and taking steps to prevent smoke from entering your home are all important things to do to help complement the use of air purifiers.

Before buying an air purifier it's essential to do your due diligence and invest in one that is built to help with wildfire smoke. While cost may be a factor, remember that investing in a unit with a medical-grade HEPA filter, densely packed activated carbon, and appropriately sized for your room can give you far better long-term results, making it worth it to protect your family’s health and well-being.

So, while air purifiers can't make wildfire smoke disappear with the snap of your fingers, they can certainly play a role in clearing the air and creating a healthier indoor environment in which to live.

Looking for the best air purifier for smoke, but not sure where to start? Check out our latest list of the best air purifiers for smoke to find the perfect unit for you.

Still, have questions? Speak with our team of world-class air purifier experts at (877) 791-8083 or send us an email at and we’d be happy to help.

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