Car Air quality
Air quality inside a car can be worse than outside due to several factors:
- Emissions from other vehicles: When you’re driving, your car’s air intake system can draw in exhaust fumes from other vehicles on the road, especially in heavy traffic. These emissions may contain harmful pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.
- Off-gassing from interior materials: As previously mentioned, new cars can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the materials used in their interiors. This off-gassing can contribute to poorer air quality inside the car.
- Recirculated air: Many car air conditioning systems have a recirculation mode, which recirculates the air inside the vehicle rather than drawing in fresh air from outside. While this can help maintain a comfortable temperature, it can also lead to a buildup of pollutants and moisture, contributing to poorer air quality.
- Limited ventilation: Cars are relatively small and enclosed spaces, which can limit the exchange of fresh air, especially when the windows are closed, and the air conditioning system is not actively drawing in fresh air.
- Smoking or vaping: If someone smokes or vapes inside the car, the air quality can deteriorate significantly due to the presence of secondhand smoke or vapor.
- Dust, allergens, and mold: Dirt, dust, and other allergens can accumulate in a car’s interior, especially if it isn’t cleaned regularly. Mold can also grow in a car, particularly in areas where moisture accumulates, such as under floor mats or in the air conditioning system.
Ways to improve car air quality:
- Regularly clean and vacuum the interior to remove dust and allergens.
- Avoid smoking or vaping inside the car.
- Use the air conditioning system’s fresh air intake mode, especially in heavy traffic or when driving near sources of pollution.
- Open the windows occasionally to allow for better air circulation.
- Use an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to help remove pollutants from the air.
- Regularly maintain the car’s air conditioning system, including changing the cabin air filter as recommended by the manufacture.