How to Use the AirNow Website

Your first time on AirNow

The first time you use AirNow, you’ll land on the entry page. Click the current locator icon or use the search box to enter a zip code, city, or state. Zip code and city take you to the city nearest to you that has air quality data. If there is no city within 50 miles of your location that has air quality data, you’ll be taken to a “state” page. State pages show all the cities in that state that have air quality data.

welcome page

 


Getting around

  • Use the dropdown menus in the header of the page to take you to topics on the website.
  • On a mobile device? Tap the 3-line menu button.
  • Hover over or tap some images and text to find definitions and links to more information.
  • Click on the AirNow logo or AirNow to return to your last city page or the entry page.


The Dial

This is where you find your local air quality updated for the most recent hour. The “dial” is the main feature. In the dial you’ll find:

  • The NowCast AQI color, number, and category
  • The hour of the last update
  • The primary pollutant (that’s the pollutant with the highest AQI out of all the monitors in the area for the last hour updated)
dial image

In the vicinity of the dial you can:

  • Open and close the AQI legend. The legend moves down the page as you scroll.
legend

 

  • Get a quick view of today and tomorrow’s air quality forecasts plus any action day notices.
forecast icons

 

  • Hover over or tap images and text to find definitions and links to more information.
hover image

 

  • Enter a new zip code, city, or state in the search box, or click the current locator icon.
search image

 

  • Select Air Quality Monitors Near Me to go to the Interactive Map zoomed to your area. (Desktop only)
monitors near me button

 

  • Select More Cities in … to see all of the cities that are reporting air quality data in a state.
more cities near me button

 

  • Select Data courtesy of to go to the source of data for your area. (Desktop only)
data courtesy of image

 

  • Check the weather.
weather icons

 

  • Scroll down the page, click on the AQI circle in the black bar, and see your mini-dial.
mini dial closedmini dial opened


Current Air Quality 

In this section of the homepage you’ll find:

  • Steps to Take to minimize your exposure to air pollution.
  • Other pollutants in the area that are not the highest at this time. This can be especially helpful for people who know they are sensitive to a pollutant that is not currently the highest in the area.
  • A small map showing the geographical extent of the AQI colors. All areas are approximate. Click on the icons to go to another map (Interactive Map, Current Fires Map, or U.S. Embassies and Consulates map).
  • The bar chart shows the NowCast AQI for each hour since midnight. Mouse over to see which pollutant was highest that hour. Switch to week or month to see a daily AQI value (ozone or PM, whichever is higher) for the area for each day.
current air quality screen shot


Air Quality Forecast 

In this section of the homepage you’ll find:

  • A forecast discussion (if available from the forecaster for that area). Select Full Forecast Discussion for the complete discussion.
  • A circle for each daily air quality forecast, with its AQI color, AQI number (if available), and the primary pollutant, which is the pollutant that is expected to have the highest overall AQI for the day. There is space for 6 days if the forecaster chooses.
  • Suggestions for activities to help you Plan Your Day. Click on a forecast circle to show its Plan Your Day message.
forecast screen shot

 


How do I?

How do I find data by state?

  • Type a state in the search box.
  • Or, select Information by state under the Maps & Data dropdown header.
  • Or, click on the button to the right of the dial that says More Cities in
more cities button

How do I find the Interactive Map?

  • Under the Maps & Data dropdown header, select National Map.
  • Or, click on the Interactive Map box in the Explore Maps & Data section on the homepage.
  • Or, click on the button to the right of the dial that says Air Quality Monitors Near Me. (Desktop only)
monitors near me button
  • Or, click on the national map icon on the small map on the homepage.
national map icon

How do I find past data for a monitor?

  • Under the Maps & Data dropdown header, select Historical Data – by Monitor.
  • Or, on the Interactive Map, use the Animations tab (shows the last 24 hours) or the Archive tab (shows yesterday and other past days).

How do I find past data for an area (city)?

  • Under the Maps & Data dropdown header, select Past Data – by City.
  • Or, select the Historical Air Quality tab on any state page.
historical tab
  • Or, check the chart in the Current Air Quality section for past data for the day, week, or month.
chart example

How do I find current fires?

  • Under the Fires dropdown header, select Current Fires.
  • Or, click on the Fires box in the Explore Maps & Data section.
  • Or, click the fire icon on the small map on the homepage.
fire icon

How do I find air quality data for U.S. Embassies and Consulates?

world icon

How do I find Frequently Asked Questions or ask a new question?

  • Under the AirNow dropdown header, select FAQs.

How do I sign up for air quality emails?

  • Under the Resources dropdown header, select EnviroFlash emails.

How do I get developer tools such as RSS feeds and file outputs?

  • Under the Resources dropdown header, select Developers/API.