Air Quality Expo discusses key prevention techniques to combat PM2.5 levels

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The 2017 Fairbanks North Star Borough 'Clear the Air Home Heating Forum and Expo' kicked off its 2nd annual event on Friday at Wedgewood Resort.

The air quality in Fairbanks has become not only complicated but also a more serious issue in the community.

The purpose of the borough's forum and expo is to discuss what's causing the PM 2.5 air quality to increase and how residents of Fairbanks can contribute to helping solving the problem.

One of the biggest problems regarding air quality in Fairbanks is how people burn wood.

Presenter, Tom Carlson, says gathering data on the issue really does make a difference.

"Without doing all of the analysis that appear to be the ones that shouldn't be lost side of is delivering the kind of clean fuel that is generally widely available in many other parts of the country that aren't in interior Fairbanks. To the extent that we can either bring a very clean fuel like natural gas or take some of the dirtiness out of the heating oil by removing the sulfur content? Those are the types of things that we think are the big ticket items that will make you know that big leap of progress that were all looking for."

Borough Mayor, Karl Kassel, gave a presentation on "Energy Efficient Construction and Air Quality".
In his talk, he used his household as a prime example of energy efficiency.

Kassel explained how keeping energy efficiency in the back of his mind helped him save a huge amount of money, by fully weather proofing his home.

He says energy efficiency really is the key towards either building a new home or remodeling an existing home.

"To live here responsibly we need to think about the energy efficiency of our homes and not waste energy. We have 14-thousand heating degree days in this community that's off the charts compared to anywhere else. And we need to respond to that and say under these extreme conditions we have to really pay serious attention to the quality the construction of our homes from an energy efficiency perspective."

Kassel says there are other options for those who might want to check to see if their home can be more energy efficient.

"So having an energy auditor come in and take a look at things and give you some advice is a good way to go. Even a contractor. Home builders can give you some advice also. And they all have good return on the investment because we can do a lot better and because of the cold weather that we have, the extreme cold, little improvements to a home end up making a big financial return for you in the long run."