Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Air Quality
Today's Forecast
King AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Kitsap AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Pierce AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Snohomish AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Tomorrow's
Forecast
King AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Kitsap AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Pierce AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Snohomish AQI:Good - Pollutant:PM2.5
Forecast Discussion
Current Air Quality
Data and Reports
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Tips & Trivia
  • As many as 64,000 Americans annually die prematurely as a result of air pollution. Learn more.
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Photo: Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid. Photo courtesy www.toyota.comDrive smarter to reduce fuel consumption and clear the air

Pollution from cars comes from by-products of the fuel combustion process (exhaust) and from evaporation of the fuel itself (refueling).

Tailpipe emissions include: unburned hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

The better gas mileage a vehicle gets, the less fuel it burns. Less fuel burned means fewer natural resources are used and less pollution is created from the extraction and processing of the fuel.  Less fuel burned also means that less carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is added to the atmosphere.  

Here are some tips to help you drive smarter:

Choose a more fuel efficient vehicle.  The better gas mileage a vehicle gets, the less fuel it burns.

Reduce idling because idling wastes gasoline. Idling for longer than 30 seconds actually burns more fuel than turning off and restarting your engine. Also, don't idle your car to warm it up; just ease into your drive for a few blocks until the engine is warm.

Maintain a steady speed. Accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Use cruise control on highways. Avoid revving the engine. Stay within the legal speed limit.

Keep it tuned

Poorly maintained or malfunctioning vehicles can release as much as 10 times the emissions of a well-maintained one, according to the National Safety Council.  And fueleconomy.gov points out that fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

Clear out the trunk. For every 50 pounds of junk you lug around, you lose about ¼ mile per gallon.

Remove the rooftop cargo carrier when you don’t need it, to decrease drag and fuel consumption.

Maintain our vehicle.  Regular vehicle maintenance reduces fuel usage.  Getting a diagnosis right away when the “Check Engine” light goes on reduces pollution and saves fuel.

Keep tires properly inflated to decrease drag and fuel consumption.

Stop at the click.  When refueling your vehicle, stop pumping when you hear the handle on the gas nozzle “click” off. Topping off releases gas fumes into the air that contribute to ozone pollution and cancels the benefit of the pump’s anti-pollution devices.

Refuel when it’s cool during summer heat waves.  Refueling your vehicle in cooler evening hours reduces the opportunity for volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, released by gasoline to turn into ozone and contribute to the formation of smog.

Replace a lost gas cap to reduce pollution by preventing fuel evaporation.

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Idling reduction for individuals

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Idling reduction for schools and other organizations

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Idling reduction for fleets