Wildfire Smoke and Indoor Air Quality

Due to the wildfires, many of you are concerned about indoor air quality and whether your ductless system should be used at this time.  We’d like to share the answers to a few frequently asked questions about whether it is safe to use your ductless heat pump right now and how to best optimize performance and durability.

Question:  Is my ductless heat pump bringing smoky outside air into my home?
Answer:  No, your ductless heat pump does NOT bring in outside air – it recirculates the air inside of your home, running the air through a filter and over a coil.

Question:  Is it bad to keep my heat pump running right now?
Answer:  No, it is actually beneficial to continue to run your ductless heat pump system.  Continual air movement means continual filtration.

To optimize the filtration system, make sure your filters are always clean. You may want to check and clean your filters more frequently during this time.

To clean your filters, first, make sure your system is turned off.  Then open the front cover of your indoor unit and pull out the mesh filters. To clean the filters you can tap them off outside, vacuum them, or even run them under warm water.  If you choose to use water you must make sure that the filters are 100% dry before you put them back in.

Your outdoor unit does not contain filters.

Question:  Is the smoke or ash damaging my filters and should I buy replacement filters right now?

Answer:  The primary mesh filters in your system never need to be replaced unless they somehow become torn.  These filters should last for the life of your system.  Keeping these filters clean is the most important thing you can do to care for your indoor air as well as your equipment.

Many systems also contain small secondary filters that are designed to deodorize the air.  These are not designed for filtering particles and will not help with smoke.  Manufacturers’ recommendations for replacement of the secondary filters vary by manufacturer and by the system.  The jury is still out on the effectiveness of these secondary filters and whether or not they should be replaced.  If you are interested in replacing secondary filters please call our office and we are happy to obtain quotes from our manufacturers for these secondary filter product replacements.

Question:  Will I damage my ductless heat pump system by running it when the air is so smoky?
Answer:  No, you will not damage the system.  The outdoor unit of your ductless heat pump is robust and can withstand ash and small debris.  When the smoke and ash have cleared, you may want to give your outdoor unit a quick rinse with a hose.

If you would like a professional duct cleaning don’t hesitate to reach out to us to schedule a maintenance or enroll in our Ductless Care Plan via our form at the top of the page, or by calling us at: 877-509-2961.

From all of us at the Heat Pump Store – Stay safe and stay healthy!