What Affects Air Quality?
The amount of pollution in the air from all sources - natural and human - defines the quality of the air we breathe. Air pollution isn't limited to our cities; it can blow into any part of Oklahoma from neighboring states. Air quality within the home or office space is also highly affected by the amount of outdoor air present. Outdoor air may enter through infiltration or natural ventilation. Infiltration means outdoor air enters through joints or cracks in the home's structure, while natural ventilation references air that enters through windows or doors. If there is too little outdoor air in a closed space, then pollutants can accumulate to a point that may pose health concerns.
How To Improve Air Quality:
Create a “walkable” city. Encourage alternate modes of transportation to save on gas emissions, and use a bicycle or walk for short
trips. This will also allow you to enjoy the clean air you have helped bring about!
Regular vehicle maintenance.
By maintaining the air in your vehicle’s tires, making sure the different fluids are up to par and keeping a full gas tank, you can greatly reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle, get better gas mileage and keep fuel emissions to a minimum Also, fuel up when it's cool to avoid the gas fumes heating up and becoming ozone.
Participate in a “Miles Drive.”
For this project, have your community group or school log the miles saved
, and thus amount of carbon emissions, through walking or bicycling or carpooling. Whoever saves the most over a given amount of time wins!
What Else You Can Do At Home:
- Bring outdoor air in! When weather permits, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate inside. Conventional home heating and cooling systems typically do not introduce fresh air.
- Add houseplants. The original and most natural recycling system for air, using houseplants as decoration can also improve air quality in the home!
- Maintain air filters. In general, air filters should be changed every three to six months. There are a few different types of air filters available; Electrostatic, HEPA and pleated are among the more common. The more efficient the filter is, the more often it should be cleaned or replaced.
Visit the Environmental Protection Agency's website at www.epa.gov for a comprehensive, inside look at Indoor Air Quality.