Efforts to improve Utah’s notorious winter air quality have focused on vehicles and industrial sources. But it turns out significant pollution comes from furnaces and water heaters in our homes. That problem has been getting some attention in the current legislative session. Efforts are underway to encourage the installation of new, cleaner water heaters in new construction. They emit far lower levels of nitrogen oxides, or NOx. The NOx fumes react in the air to form the microscopic PM 2.5 particles that can cause irritation and worse problems when we breathe them in.
In this Utah Thrives program, Utah Foundation Research Analyst Christopher Collard talks about the difference these cleaner appliances could make. And air quality activist Matt Pacenza says a new focus on home improvements for low-income families could help the community at large.