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How household appliances are polluting air in California

The four main gas-powered culprits are the furnace, water heater, dryer and stove.

SAN DIEGO — With the turn of a knob, you're firing up a home cooked meal or heating your home. 

Unfortunately, you and everyone else using gas powered appliances are contributing to poor air quality and climate change in the Golden State. But it doesn't have to be that way. Let's just get electrified.

"We've done a really good job with cars and power plants in California, but not with buildings. Burning gas in buildings is producing five times more smog than our power plants in California and twice as much smog as all of the cars in car crazy California," said Panama Bartholomy. 

Bartholomy is the Director of the Building Decarbonization Coalition. He is passionate about Californians making the switch from gas powered appliances that are reliant on crude oil or coal to electric appliances that utilize solar and wind power in the electrical system. 

I understand there are many people who love using a gas stove. Let's consider this about these appliances.

"About a quarter of all climate pollution is coming from buildings as well, so when we're burning gas in our furnaces and in our water heaters, that's being vented directly into our beautiful California landscapes and then up higher up to the atmosphere and that's contributing to climate change," said Bartholomy. 

This is due to the release of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere, which is the leading component of the smog we can see in San Diego. 

Bartholomy also doubles down during our interview. Our usage of gas-powered appliances is also leading to poor air quality within our own homes. We are exposing ourselves to not just nitrogen oxides, but carbon monoxide and formaldehyde as well. 

"Research has shown in California, about half of all Californians are being exposed to levels of those pollutants that would be considered illegal if they were to be found outdoors by our air quality districts. But because they are inside people's homes, there's nothing you can do about it," explained Bartholomy.

According to the Building Decarbonization coalition, there is something we can do as San Diegans. They stress the need for what they call "home electrification". The plus side is the coalition and local agencies have done most of the work for us.

Just visit their website, https://www.switchison.org/

The website answers the why and how to make the switch. It also provides rebates available you, personal advisors to answer all your questions and pre-screened contractors to convert your home with just the input of your zip code. 

The four main gas-powered culprits are the furnace, water heater, dryer and stove. 

During the interview, Panama explains how to switch from a gas stove to an induction one. 

"An induction stove is so easy to clean. You just spray and wipe instead of cleaning up all of that oatmeal out of the grid of your gas stove," said Bartholomy. 

"There's no emission coming from that stove, and you can boil a pot of water three times faster than a gas stove on an induction stove. It's just a better living experience when you're living all electric." 

WATCH RELATED: Scientists warn Antarctica's 'Doomsday Glacier' could reach tipping point (Feb. 2022).

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