But is that where the "fresh air" is?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a composite measure of how clean, healthy, and fresh (or dirty, sick, and stale) the air in your home is. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality is, on average, 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air quality and can be as much as 100 times worse.
Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health but many do not know that indoor air pollution can also have significant health effects. Environmental Protection Agency studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants may be of particular concern because most people spend about 90% of their time indoors.
In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
In addition, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease.