Air quality is an issue in a growing number of communities year-round, even without the increasing prevalence of wildfires.
Key Findings | State of the Air
Learn the key findings and overall trends about air quality in states and cities in the American Lung Association's State of the Air report.
(Airnow is a great resource for monitoring your air quality, via their app or via your browser:
AirNow is your one-stop source for air quality data. Our recently redesigned site highlights air quality in your local area first, while still providing air quality information at state, national, and world views.
Bad air quality is associated with all sorts of negative effects. So I make sure my HVAC filter strikes a good balance between cleaning the air without struggling to suck air through, and I have a collection of high quality air filters.
I personally have been using the Coway Mighty for 5+ years throughout the California wildfires, and think it’s great.
Two potential issues:
1. level three is a bit like a jet taking off, so use “auto” with caution.
2. The light doesn’t turn off, so I keep a sock on the top — I’ve heard that a newer mostly identical version might have a light that turns off at night.
Here's the Coway Airmega 200M
Update: I use the Coway Mighty in bedrooms, but in common spaces, I use its big brother, the AirMega 400S or 400 which is rated for 1,560 sq. ft. (and I got one for my stepmom's classroom to help with air-exchanges as she deals with covid + wildfire smoke).
If you catch it on sale (check the two models listed above as well as white or grey—they both look sleek), you can find it as low as $350 and it can filter a ton of air without cranking up to jet-engine speeds. Replacement filters are expensive, but I've read that the filtration is actually still quite excellent long after the filters are due to be replaced.