Don’t Use Air Conditioning in Wildfire Smoke in New York State?
Right now there are currently over 200 wildfires in Canada. Over 8,000,000 acres of land have been burned and that has produced a whole lot of smoke. That smoke has made its way to New York State in a very significant way. In fact, you probably have gotten an alert on your phone or on your computer notifying you that there is a 'poor' or 'low' air quality alert in your area. Nearly all of New York State has received one of these notifications.
On Tuesday, many school districts canceled sports and outdoor activities. It is so bad that some people were comparing breathing in the air to smoking a cigarette. Experts want you to stay inside as much as possible and not breathe in the smoky air if possible.
If you are staying inside, a popular question that has been asked is if it is safe to use your air conditioner while the smoky conditions remain in New York State.
Can you use an air conditioner in New York State?
The answer is YES if you have central AC (that means the air comes from the floor or ceiling in your house) and if you use the window units that go into the double-hung windows.
The answer is NO if you have portable air conditioning units, per the EPA.
If you have a portable air conditioner with a single hose, typically vented out of a window, do not use it in smoky conditions because it can result in more smoke being brought inside. Consider other cooling options like a fan or window air conditioner", according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.
The EPA also notes that if you do have one of the portable AC units with two hoses, make sure that the seal between the window vent kit and the window is as tight as possible.