Aria Doherty, a student at Nobel Charter Middle School, was in her bed with a can of compressed air in her mouth and her nostrils taped shut when her sister found her Monday, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported.
Her father, Richard Doherty, told KTLA the family hopes his daughter's death can serve as a warning to other parents.
"It's what the students are doing," he said. "We didn't know much about it at all."
An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of death.
Aria Doherty was the second California teen to die this month after abusing common household items. Kristal Salcido, 12, of Victorville, died after inhaling Freon from air conditioning at her home.
The website inhalants.org says household products provide young abusers with "the easiest way to get high," since they are relatively inexpensive and easily hidden. The website says inhaling dangerous substances, a practice called "huffing," has become as popular as marijuana among young people.