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What Is The Air Quality Index?

Established by the EPA, the Air Quality Index (AQI) provides local forecasting for the major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act. When AQI levels in your area are under 100, the air pollution levels are safe for almost everyone. When AQI values are above 100, air quality is unhealthy: at first for certain sensitive groups of people, and eventually for everyone if AQI rises above 300. The AQI for your locality can tell you when air pollutants are more likely to enter your home. Look up your local AQI anytime at AirNow.gov.

The AQI is divided into six categories:

How Does The AQI Effect Your Health?

Understanding how the AQI works, and paying attention to your local forecast helps you reduce your exposure to pollution. Ozone and pollution particles in the air are caused by heavy traffic, manufacturing, and wildfires - even fires that are many miles away. Since pollution levels fluctuate throughout the day, the AQI helps you identify the best days and times to spend outdoors. To plan outdoor activities with the AQI in mind, check out the EPA’s Activity Guide.Download the EPA’s AQI App to your phone for hourly air quality information. If you have asthma or allergies, you can use the AQI to see when the air is safe for outdoor exercise. During wildfire season, the AQI App can alert you if smoke levels suddenly increase, indicating a fire nearby.
If you live in a city with consistently high AQI values, consider improving the air quality inside your home with a HEPA air purifier. The air inside your home contains the same pollutants as outside, along with mold and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from plastics, carpet, and paint. All of these irritants, allergens and pollutants create indoor air that is far more polluted than the air outside. Most people spend up to 90% of their time indoors, and modern climate control doesn’t usually provide a fresh exchange of air. Even if you live in an area where the AQI is in a healthy range, an effective indoor air purifier like the Ovalair is proven to support overall health.