How to Get the Smoke out of House, Car, Clothes | Health

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How to Get the Smoke out of House, Car, Clothes
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How to Get the Smoke out of House, Car, Clothes

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  The smoke that blankets the city is so thick, it is seeping into homes, vehicles and individuals' clothing. In most cases, it is impossible to keep the smoke out, but there are ways to keep it from lingering.

In homes, air-conditioning expert Ed Miller, who works for Snyder Air advised residents to do the following:

  • Keep the garage door closed.
  • Make sure that the air handler, the unit inside the home or in the garage, is properly sealed.
  • Change air filters.

"You should change it today and tomorrow if necessary," said Miller.

Don't use any kind of filter, Miller said, instead, make sure it is a pleated filter. "A pleated filter has the ridges to catch smoke, dust and dirt," he said.

When it comes to smoke in vehicles, Barry Wiese, a spokesman for Wiese Automotive, said drivers should begin with air conditioner settings. "If you have the setting on fresh air, you are allowing smoke to get into your vehicle," he said.

So what should you do? "Set the system on recirculating air; it allows the system to take the air inside the vehicle and recycle it," said Wiese.

What about your clothing? Steven Thompson, who owns Sand Dollar Cleaners, said if it is a light smoke smell the easiest way to get it out of your clothing is to let it air out.

"Get as much fresh air as possible. You can use deodorizers, but they will only mask the smell. They don't get rid of the odor," said Thompson. 

If the odor is that strong, Thompson said the only alternative is to wash the clothing. "Full immersion by washing or drycleaning," said Thompson.

And don't forget four-legged friends, said Dr. Jamie Barta, a veterinarian at Deerwood Animal Clinic.

Do not leave your pets outdoors in these conditions and monitor pets' behavior, she said.

"Coughing would be the biggest sign of respiratory distress, and that could lead to gagging or in very bad cases foaming at the mouth," said Barta.

Barta said cats with asthma and dogs with flat faces, like pugs and bulldogs, face a greater risk during the smokey conditions.

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