Climate Smart Missoula

MISSOULA -- With summer wildfires comes smoke, and the air you breathe in is important now more than every during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Climate Smart in Missoula held a Facebook live meeting to answer questions, and help people understand more about air quality. 

Climate Smart Executive Director, Amy Cilimburg, said they want people to start thinking about the air systems inside their homes now, before the wildfire season gets bad.

"Knowing that the conditions could change, we're just encouraging folks to get prepared now and not wait until we have those smokey conditions," Cilimburg said.

Easy steps to take include knowing the system within your home, changing and upgrading it's filters, and closing doors and windows when it's smokey out.

Sara Coefield with the Missoula City-County Health Department was at the meeting and said you can buy an air filter to clean your home or save money by making your own.

"Before the smoke gets here make a plan. Have a portable air cleaner, sized appropriately for the room that you're putting it in," Coefield said. "Or make your own air cleaner by using a box fan and a MERV 13 or better filter, and be ready."  

Coefield adds that studies have found COVID-19 particles trapped in air filters in hospital rooms. She said this doesn't guarantee anything, but it's just another reason to make sure you have a good air filter system within your home. 

Climate Smart Missoula made a website called MontanaWildfireSmoke.org, where you can learn more about air filter systems and watch videos on how to make your own fan filter.