How Much Does Outside Air Pollution Affect Indoor Air?

According to research, outside air pollution, such as fireworks, winter inversions, and wildfires, can impact indoor air quality.


In fact, IQ Air notes that indoor air pollution is two to five times higher than outdoor levels, and it’s more deadly as people spend 80% or more of their day inside. Additionally, the Environmental Health Perspectives reports that over 141 million people in the US alone live in environments with unhealthy air.


As such, it’s vital to understand the relationship between outdoor and indoor air to prevent its negative effects on your health and home. It’s also important to know that there are changes in your habits and lifestyle that can help minimize the effect of outside air pollution on indoor air.


How Outdoor and Indoor Air Relate


The circulation of outdoor air is essential in creating and maintaining safe, high-quality indoor air. If not properly filtered, recirculated air inside your home can welcome contaminants and allow them to build over time. Plus, with many pollutants emitted indoors – like home materials, beauty and cleaning products, and other chemical sources – outdoor air is vital in driving these out.


This means that if the outdoor air is polluted and unsafe, air can’t be properly circulated indoors. That’s why it’s important that indoor air is constantly purified and recirculated so that it’s kept at a healthy, high-quality level.


How Outdoor Air Pollutants Get Inside


Concentrations of outdoor air pollutants fluctuate regularly due to changes in climate, human activities, and weather.


Outdoor air pollutants build up in the lower atmosphere or at low altitudes during the cold weather when warm air rises in the upper atmosphere and traps cold air. They also rise during rush hour when there is high-volume traffic.


These pollutants then contaminate indoor air through ventilation processes. For one, bringing in fresh air by opening the doors and windows can relieve the indoor stuffy feeling. However, doing this can also bring in polluted outdoor air, which can worsen your indoor air quality (IAQ). It could even react with the chemicals and chemical by-products you have inside, potentially leading to respiratory problems.


Another common way that outside air pollution affects indoor air is through the cracks, gaps, and openings in your doors, walls, and windows. Often undetectable, these little holes allow outdoor air to seep inside and bring in unwanted elements such as carbon monoxide, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide. Again, these can react with off-gassing materials, furniture, and cleaning chemicals, making your indoor air even more toxic.


In addition, when people enter their homes from outside, they can carry in pollutants. Clinging to their clothes, shoes, hair, or other carry-on items, allergens and toxins like grime, pollen, and chemicals can then get inside.


How to Avoid Outside Air Pollution


People are always at risk of being exposed to airborne pollutants. Fortunately, there are several tips to help ensure you keep your indoor air quality clean.


  • Control sources of indoor pollutants – Keep a low indoor humidity level. Use a range hood over your stove or replace outdated gas stoves. Avoid smoking indoors. This will prevent the growth of dust mites, mold, and other sources of indoor pollution.
  • Have proper ventilation – Open the doors and windows and use fans to facilitate natural airflow and disperse indoor pollutants.
  • Maintain air moisture – Having a high-quality air humidifier helps reduce the growth and spread of illness-causing bacteria and viruses, especially in areas with dry climates.  
  • Use a high-performance air purifier – If source control is challenging, make sure you have a reliable air purifier that has the capacity to filter all kinds of pollutants, pathogens, and other harmful chemicals both from the indoor and outdoor air.


Outside air pollution significantly affects indoor air quality as it brings in allergens, pathogens, and other particles that can poorly impact your home and health. Remember, you spend the majority of your time indoors, so it’s vital that your indoor environment is at its optimal level.


Having a high-grade air purifier, like Sans, is an efficient solution to remove airborne pollutants in your home. It helps keep you and your family protected from breathing in harmful elements, minimizing your chances of certain health problems. In addition, it’s helpful to place your air purifier in strategic areas to enhance your home’s air quality and ventilation.


Sans purifiers are equipped with a three-stage air filtration process plus a UV-C light sterilization step to ensure the optimal cleaning for your indoor air.


The pre-filter ensures that large dust particles and pollutants are trapped. It proceeds with the HEPA-13 filter that captures microparticles, smaller pathogens, and almost invisible allergens. Next is the activated carbon filter that neutralizes harmful chemicals emitted by common home products. And to top it off, the interior UV-C light sterilizes everything that’s been captured so that it doesn’t grow over time and further impact the quality of your home air.


Ready to improve your indoor air quality? Shop Sans today and start changing the quality of the air you breathe.