Bringing Air Quality Home: Reducing Residential Emissions

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Many Utahns consider air quality an important factor in determining quality of life and would support actions to improve air quality. Oil refineries and other industrial polluters, as well as passenger vehicles, have been the focus of federal, state, and local government regulation, yet there has been little focus in Utah about reducing pollution generated from commercial and residential buildings. Emissions from buildings contribute substantially to Utah’s pollution, particularly during the winter when they produce as much as 60% of certain pollutants. As planned regulations on vehicles come into effect, residential buildings will emit a greater share of the pollution. This report summarizes some actions that could reduce the pollution generated from buildings.

Key Findings

  • Updating Utah’s building code will save buyers of newly built homes an estimated $3,750 over the course of 30 years.
  • Were ultra-low NOx water heaters the standard between 2012 and 2014 there would have been 10 fewer instances of PM2.5 exceeding federal guidelines, a 20% reduction.
  • Up to 70% of the ambient levels of woodsmoke from your neighborhood can wind up in your home.

 

What Can Be Done to Reduce Residential Pollution?

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