MILWAUKEE — The state’s Department of Health Services is recommending people avoid all outdoor activities while the dense wildfire smoke remains in our area.

But what should you do to make sure the smoke doesn’t affect the air quality inside your home? Let’s go in-depth on the remedies in high demand — and the people who are most vulnerable.

"Where would I find your air purifiers?" Karen David asked an Ace Hardware employee.

Karen deals with breathing issues on a regular basis.

"I have some respiratory issues going on with this air,” she said.

She says the smoke in the sky is making matters much worse.

"I deal with C.O.P.D. and asthma and being out in this kind of weather is truly a challenge,” Karen said. “It leaves me winded, kind of struggling to breathe."

It’s why Karen headed to a local hardware store Tuesday to make sure the smoke that gets inside her home doesn’t get into her lungs.

"I know an air purifier helps indoor as far as the air is concerned,” she said.

"It's going to pull in the air around it and then filter it through the filter obviously and pump that back out into your living space,” said Ace Hardware manager David Meinecke.

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Meinecke says the smoke and haze has three products in high demand.

"A lot of landscapers have been coming in for masks,” he said.

People who work outdoors are after N-95 masks, but Meinecke says customers are also looking for items to put inside their homes, such as air purifiers and furnace filters.

“Out of those three things, what are they buying the most?” TMJ4 reporter Ben Jordan asked.

"Furnace filters,” Meinecke said. “That's a common thing we need to replace every 3 to 6 months in a home anyway and this is a phenomenal excuse to make sure yours if clean."

Aside from changing your air filter, experts say you should keep your doors and windows closed.

One of those experts is Dr. Nathan Lebak, an Aurora Healthcare allergist.

"It really is dangerous to go outside,” the said.

“What are the most vulnerable populations when it comes to this smoke?” Jordan asked.

“In general, people with lung issues including asthma and COPD will be adversely affected by the wildfire smoke,” Dr. Lebak said.

The C.D.C. says nearly half a million Wisconsinites live with asthma and a quarter million have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease known as C.O.P.D.

Dr. Lebak says people who live with either are most at risk because they’re more sensitive to irritants in the air like wildfire smoke.

"The wildfires are particulate matter that are inhaled pretty deeply into the lungs when taken without covering up or without filtering,” he said.

Karen is hopeful her new air purifier makes it easier on her lungs until the heavy smoke leaves the area.

"Fortunately I do have air conditioning,” she said. “Even in that, you would need to do something more."

While you’re out and about driving, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends using the air recirculation button to keep outside air outside of your car.

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