As many of you noticed, a significant amount of smoke has drifted over our region from wildfires in Canada in recent weeks, affecting air quality and visibility. Here's what you need to know about the smoke:
Here are some tips you can do to keep yourself prepared for any future smoke related event and improve air quality in the long term:
When the air quality index hits more than 100, people sensitive to pollutants (e.g., people with respiratory problems) should avoid leaving their homes. When the air quality index hit 413 in New York City, Broadway shows, and sporting events were canceled as health experts and elected officials didn't want to expose many residents to the smoke. Those who couldn't stay home were recommended to wear masks. An N95 face mask is ideal.
While the air quality outside is particularly dangerous, you should preserve the air quality inside your homes. Avoid frying food or smoking because both can spoil the air conditions in your home. Consider investing in an air purifier that does an excellent job of removing smoke particulates. When researching different air purifiers, ensure the one you buy has a HEPA filter. The filter reduces particle concentrations by as much as 85 percent.
At Meltek, we are committed to limiting peaker plant usage. Peaker plants are power plants that run only when there is an excessive electricity demand. Peaker plants actively hurt the air quality by releasing carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Carbon dioxide is harmful to the environment, and it directly affects global warming. Studies show nitrogen and sulfur dioxide can cause severe long-term damage to respiratory systems, especially in those who suffer from asthma.
Participating in Meltek's free demand response program is a simple and no-cost solution to ensure the limited use of peaker plants and make way for investments in renewable energy, thereby improving air quality long term. By actively participating in the program, everyone can help alleviate the need to turn to peaker plants by decreasing demand during these events.
When you lower your electricity usage for a few hours during peak demand periods, you effectively help stabilize the grid and reduce the reliance on peaker plants. This reduction in energy consumption directly translates to lower emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases, leading to improved air quality and a healthier environment for all.
Signing up for Meltek is free and can help you not only save on your bill and earn money, but also ease up pressure on the utilities that produce energy, which at the end of the day, help the environment too.