Air Quality Monitoring: Actionable Next Steps

If you find poor air quality around your home or community, here are some steps you can take.
This information is provided by the City of Sheridan and Arapahoe County Public Health. Learn about air quality monitors for checkout at Arapahoe Libraries.

Potential reasons for poor indoor air quality 

Steps to improve air quality


Moisture and water      

 Excess moisture and water can lead to the growth of mold and create an environment where bacteria, viruses, dust mites and other pests can thrive. 

  • Proactively check for and repair leaks within your house: roof, pipes and windows. 
  • Caulk and seal windows. 
  • Use dehumidifiers or air conditioner. 
  • Use exhaust fans in your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room. 
  • Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside the home. 
  • Thoroughly clean and dry after flooding. 
  • Pay special attention to carpet, as it can absorb moisture and serve as a place for pollutants to build up over time. 
  • Consider not using carpet in areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture. 
  • If you have discovered mold in your home, see the CDC website, opens a new window
    for information on how to remove it.
  • You can make home improvements to weatherize your home. The Weatherization Assistance Program, opens a new window is free for qualifying low-income households in Arapahoe and Adams Counties. Find similar programs, opens a new window. 

Outdoor sources     

 Outdoor air pollutants and allergens can enter buildings through open doors, windows and cracks in the foundation.  


Read more about outdoor air pollutants in the chart below. 

Fuel-burning appliances     

 Fuel-burning appliances (including cooking stoves, furnaces and water heaters) can create emissions that are harmful to our health and the environment. 

  • If you can, replace natural gas appliances with electric ones. See what rebates are available to you through the Rewiring America calculator, opens a new window. 
  • Use the following safety steps when using a gas stove at home:           
    • Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors. Use devices that meet safety standards. Ideally, install detectors in the kitchen and in or near bedrooms. 
    • Run the exhaust fan while cooking. 
    • Open a window while cooking. 
    • Cook on the back burners. 
    • When you can, use electric appliances, such as a toaster oven or kettle. 
  • Reduce or eliminate wood fireplaces, especially during high air pollution days. 
  • The Weatherization Assistance Program, opens a new window can help replace inefficient gas appliances for free for qualifying low-income households. Find similar programs, opens a new window 

Secondhand smoke      

Smoke from burning tobacco products is harmful to our health. 

  • The best way to protect others from secondhand smoke is to quit smoking. To access a telephone quitline in your area, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1­ 800-784-8669) or visit, opens a new window. 
  • Make your home and car smoke-free. 

Scents and chemicals      

Certain chemicals and scents (from candles, sprays, etc.) can be harmful to our health. 


To learn more about indoor air quality, visit Healthy Homes, opens a new window. 


Potential reasons for poor outdoor air quality 

Steps to improve air quality 

Traffic exhaust     

Vehicle exhaust is a mix of gases and particles, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, benzene and particulates. 

  • Avoid working out or playing outside during peak traffic times. 
  • If you can, switch to an electric vehicle. 
  • If you can, increase public transportation use, walking and biking. Keep an eye out for free or discounted public transportation, such as through RTD’s Zero Fare for Better Air, opens a new window initiative. 
  • Carpool and combine trips to reduce emissions. 
  • Make sure your gas-powered vehicle is properly maintained. A well-maintained vehicle generates less air pollution. 
  • Choose electric lawn equipment. Learn about the Lawn Equipment Exchange Program., opens a new window 

Heavy industry     

Heavy industries, such as oil and gas and steelmaking, can create large amounts of air pollution. This can be due to many reasons, including the use of heavy-duty trucks, resource-intensive machinery and effluent. 

Wildfire smoke     

Colorado’s wildfire season is typically May through September. Exposure to wildfire smoke can cause health effects, opens a new window such as coughing, difficulty breathing and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. 

  • When there is wildfire smoke in the air, the most effective way to protect yourself is to stay indoors or limit your time outdoors. This is especially important for children and other high-risk groups. If visibility is less than five miles in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy. 
  • Close windows when indoors. 
  • Use an N95 respirator, opens a new window when outdoors. 
  • Reduce smoke in your vehicle by closing windows and vents and running fans in recirculate mode. 
  • Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present.  
  • Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. You can use the Air Now Fire and Smoke map, opens a new window to identify areas near you with better air quality.  
  • If you are unable to create a clean air room in your home, seek out a location with good air filtration. In Sheridan, public places that qualify include Sheridan Library and the Sheridan Recreation Center. 

Ozone pollution     

Ground-level ozone pollution, opens a new window is created when pollutants emitted by cars, chemical plants, industrial boilers, power plants, refineries and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight. 


Breathing too much ozone is riskier for children, older adults, people with asthma and people who exercise outdoors. 


  • Follow the steps listed for traffic exhaust (above). 
  • Limit time spent outdoors during high ozone days. Be aware that summer can mean higher ozone pollution in Colorado. 
  • Schedule outdoor activities for mornings or late evenings, when ozone pollution levels are usually lower. 
  • Choose less strenuous activities, such as walking instead of running. 
  • Find information about ozone and your health as well as what steps you can take to help reduce ozone pollution on the CDPHE website, opens a new window. 
  • Stay informed: To receive daily email forecasts, subscribe, opens a new window to the “ozone.frontrange” list, opens a new window. The CDPHE provides air quality forecasts year-round and with an emphasis on ozone during the summer. 


To learn more about air pollutants, visit: 

Are there tips or recommendations you’d like to see added to the above list? Contact us to share your ideas.