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Poor Air Quality Indicators for High-Altitude Homeowners

3 minute read

Click play to listen to the Altitude and Healthy Air: Air Quality at Higher Elevations article.

High altitude, or mountain air, living has a storied reputation for being fresh and clean, but is that really the case? While that’s often true, certain air quality indicators show that even those in high-altitude environments risk being exposed to polluted air that can threaten their homes and health.

In fact, large cities are usually more prone to poor air quality indicators, like ground-level ozone known as smog, that stems from power plants, refineries, and vehicles. Let’s take a look at one city with rather poor air quality: Denver. It’s high altitude—coming in at 5,280 feet above sea level—and population of over 700,000 makes this city a prime location for poor air quality indicators due to the abundance of human activity, adding more pollutants into the air. It’s not too surprising to hear that the American Lung Association ranked this city one of the most ozone-polluted cities in the country.

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The Relationship Between High Altitude and Poor Air Quality Indicators

At a high altitude, atmospheric pressure is reduced, making oxygen less available, commonly referred to as being “thinner.” This “thinner” air is one of the more classic poor air quality indicators and can leave lasting effects on people living in the area.

Be Aware of These Common Poor Air Quality Indicators

In high-altitude environments, combustion engines tend to perform less efficiently than they would in lower-altitude environments, causing an increase in emissions when used up in the mountains. Similarly, UV rays from the sun have a greater impact, creating more photochemical smog, a term to describe the reactions that occur when airborne pollutants and sunlight intermingle.

These aforementioned air quality indicators, in addition to already low oxygen levels and “thinner” air atmospheres, can increase health risks. Not only that, airborne pollution at a high altitude can also impact ecosystems due to increased levels of nitrogen in the air (due to smog). More nitrogen causes soil acidification, making it more difficult for certain native plants to receive the nutrients they need to thrive.

Reducing Poor Air Quality Indicators in High Altitude Environments

So, what can be done to help high-altitude populations improve poor air quality indicators? Mitigating the impacts of global warming and our climate will take large-scale policy changes and continued efforts, but there are smaller steps people can take to drastically improve the air they breathe when living in a high-altitude environment.

For safety and peace of mind, introduce Healthy Air to your high-altitude abode! To keep poor air quality indicators at bay, consider the AprilAire Healthy Air System®, an all-in-one solution for your home.

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AprilAire Whole-House Fresh Air Ventilation helps push out dirty, stagnant air while pulling in fresh air from outside to help improve Indoor Air Quality. Then, AprilAire whole-house air filtration, including AprilAire Whole-House Air Purifiers and Air Filters, work together to remove contaminants by capturing smog and air pollution. That’s not all—this comprehensive system offers so many more life-changing benefits.

High altitude or not, it’s important to protect your home and family from poor air quality indicators. Get started today by contacting your local AprilAire Healthy Air Professional to start your Healthy Air journey.

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Establish a Healthy Home with AprilAire Healthy Air Professionals that care. We have over 4,500 pros nationwide who are ready to help you find the best Healthy Air solutions for your home, no matter what your needs may be. Start your journey with AprilAire.

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