Eighty percent of American homeowners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside the home than outdoors, according to a survey released by the American Lung Association (ALA).

The study cites Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research showing that levels of indoor air pollutants may be two to five times higher — occasionally more than 100 times higher — than outdoor levels.

According to the EPA, Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, and indoor air pollution is one of the most urgent environmental problems facing the United States.

Mark LaLiberte, building expert and technical advisor to the ALA Health House project, said, “Fortunately, there are numerous easy and relatively inexpensive steps homeowners can take to improve air quality in the home.” Still more fortunately, they are steps that can be advised by an hvac contractor, either in person on a service call or through literature.

These include:

  •  Installing a CO detector; only 37% have already done so.

  •  Storing firewood in the garage or outdoors, rather than inside the home; drying firewood generates mold spores.

  •  Replacing furnace filters on a regular basis (every two to three months); according to the survey, 41% fail to do this — and 9% have never replaced the filter in their furnace!

The survey also found that although 77% of American homeowners have a forced-air heating or central air conditioning system, only one in eight have a high-efficiency filter in the home.

  • Pointing this need out to homeowners is one way to sell a higher-end product, as well as keep customers happy (and healthy) in the long run by providing cleaner indoor air.

    And don’t forget to point out the importance of cleaning and changing filters regularly, in order to maintain the efficiency of customers’ heating-cooling systems.