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Which is cleaner, the air in your home or outside air?

I’ve been with AAA Heating and Cooling for 17 years and have specialized in dealing with indoor air quality issues.  Last month I talked about the fact that I can control my indoor environment but not the outdoor environment.  This month I’d like to talk about the difference in air quality between indoor air and outdoor air.

It’s been proven even in environments like smoggy Los Angeles that the air quality in your home can be 25% to 62% more polluted than the outdoor air.  Given the fact that we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors, it’s worth making some small changes to improve the air we breathe when you’re home.


When it comes to ventilation, the best way to minimize polluted air is to introduce fresh air to dilute the pollutants by simply opening up windows.  You could also use kitchen and bathroom exhausts or simply turning on the fan on your furnace system.

First, think about what you bring into your home:

  • Stay away from air fresheners whether they’re plug-in type or sprays.  Many of these contain synthetic chemicals that can aggravate allergies or asthma.
  • Try less toxic household cleaning products.
  • Buy low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints, sealants and glue.
  • Replace that vinyl shower curtain with one that’s made of a natural material.
  • Minimize carpeting and look for formaldehyde-free pressed wood furniture and supplies when decorating.
  • Control temperature and humidity levels that can effect possible mold growth and other irritants.

Second, maintain and clean your home regularly;

  • Wet-mop floors and use a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter to limit chemicals that accumulate in household dust.
  • Fix any leaks you may have to avoid mold growth.
  • Remember to change your furnace filter regularly and maintain any fuel-burning appliances.

Last, if you have a whole home central heating system.  You may also want to consider the Lennox PureAir Air Purification system.  The filter portion was ranked as the number 1 best buy from a leading consumer magazine.  This filter system also incorporates Non-Ozone-Producing Germicidal Lights to dramatically reduce concentrations of potentially harmful microorganisms.

John “Pepe” Rodarte
Email: pepe@aaaiaq.com
Phone: 503-284-2173 Ext. 5514