HVAC Maintenance to Complete Before, During, & After California Wildfire Season

Posted on May 23, 2024 •

California is no stranger to wildfires. Apart from the immediate dangers posed by wildfires, they can also have long-lasting effects on indoor air quality and infrastructure. Luckily, there are measures you can take for your commercial facility before, during, and after a wildfire in order to protect your building— See below for M3 Service’s recommendations on how to prepare your HVAC system for the detrimental effects of wildfire season.

Pre-Wildfire Season Maintenance

Before wildfire season starts, it’s essential to prepare HVAC systems to withstand potential threats. 

M3 Service recommends, at minimum:

  • Inspect Systems for Debris: Regularly check HVAC units for debris accumulation, which can become a fire hazard during wildfires
  • Clear Vegetation: Clear surrounding vegetation and debris to create a defensible space around HVAC units, reducing the risk of ignition
  • Replace Filters: Replace filters to prevent additional strain on the system and improve indoor air quality ahead of wildfire season


During Wildfire Season Maintenance

Stay tuned to local news channels when a wildfire becomes close in proximity. Always follow evacuation orders.

During active wildfires, maintaining HVAC systems becomes critical for indoor air quality management. 

Here’s what M3 recommends you do for your commercial HVAC system during an active nearby wildfire: 

  • Monitor Air Quality: Monitor air quality and adjust HVAC settings accordingly to minimize indoor smoke exposure
    • AirNow’s Air Quality Monitor allows you to check your region’s AQI
    • AirNow’s Fire and Smoke Map displays information on air quality, fires, smoke plume locations, and special statements about smoke
  • Inspect Systems for Smoke Damage: Regularly inspect HVAC components for signs of smoke damage or performance issues caused by wildfire smoke exposure
  • Install Special Filtration: Consider installing a special fire filter designed to capture smoke particles and reduce indoor odors during wildfire events
  • Purchase Portable Air Cleaners: Investing in portable air cleaners can provide additional protection and improve air quality by filtering out smoke particles that make it inside your commercial building


Post-Wildfire Season Maintenance

Once wildfire season subsides, building owners should restore HVAC systems to resume regular functionality. 

M3 recommends completing these tasks after the cease of wildfire season.

  • Clean & Inspect: Thoroughly clean HVAC components to remove any residual smoke particles or debris that may have entered the system during wildfires
  • Repair & Maintain: Address any damage or wear-and-tear on HVAC units, including replacing damaged parts
  • Test System Performance: Test the system’s performance to ensure it’s operating at optimal levels post-wildfire season


Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Appointment

M3 Service is here to help you navigate the challenges posed by California’s wildfire season and keep your HVAC system running smoothly year-round. Ensure your building is set up for success this wildfire season by enrolling in one of M3 Service’s preventative maintenance programs. 

Service Request

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