Summer Air Quality: How You Can Be Prepared

Summer’s the time for sun, time off, and playing outside. Summer is also the season when temperatures rise, drought conditions increase, and large wildfires make the news.

Especially across Western US states, the warmer weather can open the landscape to wildfire risks. Make sure you know what’s happening with your summer air quality—at home and beyond. Today, we're sharing current summer air quality trends, and how to protect yourself.

Summer Air Quality Trends

One trend we're seeing and feeling is that summers are lasting longer, while our falls and winters are shorter, especially in the northern hemisphere. Last year, the Pacific Northwest states had unprecedented heat waves in late June, with Portland reaching 116 degrees and Seattle topping out at 108 degrees.

And this trend isn't only true across the Northwestern states.

Last year's end-of-summer heat wave lasted deep into September. Denver recorded a record-breaking 99 degrees on September 10, while Death Valley hit 122 degrees in the same month. The temperature in Death Valley was the hottest recorded on Earth for that date. 

In the bigger picture, this means that arid conditions will probably continue to rise, and wildfires will continue to be a challenge for everyone. Although we may not have a quick fix to this problem, at least there are things we can all do to be prepared.

How To Prepare For Summer Air Quality

The first step to protecting yourself from harmful air pollution, like Particulate Matter from wildfire smoke—is to know the air quality around you. That's where an affordable air quality monitor can help.

We designed our PurpleAir devices to let you easily and quickly know the particle pollution levels in and around your home. You also become a part of the PurpleAir Map, where your local air quality is available from any of your smart devices. You can also get a big-picture view of AQI levels when you plan your trips and outdoor activities – especially where wildfire dangers are high.

Before you go and even when you’re out, you can always check the PurpleAir Map for local and real-time access to weather and air quality conditions. The PurpleAir Map is a powerful tool that keeps you informed to make sure each day out is free from the impacts of wildfires and poor air quality from other sources.

Every icon on the PurpleAir Map represents a public PurpleAir device. The color indicates the real-time PM2.5 reading on the US EPA Air Quality Index scale. The monitors with no outline are registered as outdoor sensors, and the sensors with black rings are registered as indoor sensors.

Step Up Your Air Quality

Monitor the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map or join PurpleAir's mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home. 

Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.