If the smoke in the bay area has your throat feeling down, get a good furnace filter and clean your indoor air. It works wonders.
We swapped out our regular MERV 8 for a MERV 13 and the house feels so much more like home! If your fan switch on your furnace doesn’t work, you can probably temporarily rewire it at the furnace so “heat” turns on the fan.
Here’s how we rewired a friend’s house that only had 2 wires. I used this guide to show what wires go where.
After putting the filter on, I still smelled smoke through the vents. Air was leaking into the system under the house! I went under the house and used aluminum duct sealing tape to seal up the joins in the air intake system. I sealed the join between the intake register and the intake plenum, and between the intake plenum and the furnace itself. It involved a lot of crawling around in right spaces but was worth it! To check the system, I lit a match and blew it out: I could see where the smoke was being pulled in to the system and my family could smell the smoke in the house. When I was done, the smoke was not being pulled in and my family could only barely smell the smoke inside the house. I also used my daughter’s walkie talkies to ask how the smell was upstairs. Hurray!