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Air Quality Newsletter Air Quality Newsletter
Healthy Homes is a free, indoor air quality program for Fort Collins community members that aims to reduce chemical and biological pollutants, and promote safety. Staff, volunteers and partner organizations work together to improve the respiratory health of all Fort Collins community members.
If you're interested in information about how to protect your indoor air quality during heavy smoke events, check out our Wildfire Page and scroll down to the section titled "What You Can Do to Minimize Impacts from Smoke".
Gift Yourself a Healthy Home
The City of Fort Collins’ Healthy Homes program is sharing resources and gifts on how to create a healthier and safer home. Complete an online assessment of your home and receive a personalized set of recommendations on how you can reduce exposure to indoor air contaminants and safety hazards.
Healthy Homes Responding to COVID-19
The Healthy Homes objective is to help community members identify pollutants or contaminants in the home that can affect health and safety. Follow the link below to discover ways to keep you and your family safe and healthy as you are spending more time inside your home.
The Healthy Homes Program
- Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, and our indoor air quality can be up to 5 times worse than outdoor air quality.
- Poor indoor Air Quality is one of the EPA's top 5 environmental risks.
- In Fort Collins, 1 of 4 homes reports a family member with a respiratory ailment
The greatest environmental risk is where we have the greatest control - in our own homes.
- Create awareness to reduce asthma triggers
- Reduce toxic or harmful exposure in homes
- Promote healthy, safe and environmentally sound household practices
- Test and mitigate for radon in more homes
- While all Fort Collins community members are eligible, Healthy Homes is especially interested in helping:
- Homes who have children with asthma
- The elderly population
- The underserved community
- Healthy Homes is committed to using an equity & inclusion lens to ensure that services are accessible to all Fort Collins community members.
- A healthy home environment improves the quality of community members' lives, particularly children and those with respiratory problems.
- Healthy Homes principles can help make a home resilient in the face of extreme weather events and wildfires.
"Volunteers were so nice and helpful - we really appreciate their time. It's so great Fort Collins offers this service for free! It's a great program."
"I thought the assessment was very worthwhile. The volunteers provided me with good ideas. The program really helped me to be more aware of things to watch out for."
"My wife and I had an excellent experience with a totally free and not too well known City of Fort Collins service. It was originally planned to help seniors breathe cleaner air in their homes and enable seniors to live a healthier independent life. This program is now open to all Fort Collins residents, regardless of age or income."
"I just thought everything about it was great. Nice people, good information... I think they should come to the senior center more often, because this can really help people."
"We were always concerned about radon in our home, but we didn't really understand what it was or how it's harmful. The folks from the program come out and explained it, set the testing kit up, and then they called to remind us to mail it in on time. We got our results back, and we were happy to find out that we don't need mitigation. We were very pleased about all of that."
"The assessment went really well and it was really good to have it completed. The ladies that came out were really knowledgeable. During the interview there was a lot of information I would have liked to learn more about. I was really surprised to learn about the radon level in our home. Overall, it was a good experience."
"The volunteers did an excellent job. We were really impressed with the amount of time and effort they put in, giving us individualized care and attention. Their suggestions were very helpful. Based on their suggestions, we took advantage of the City’s discounted home energy audits, and we even contracted to make improvements to our home based on the findings of both audits."
J. & B. Reid
"The volunteers were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Based on their recommendations, we had a home energy audit done, which was also extremely valuable. The volunteers pointed out very useful things that we were unaware could have such a huge impact on indoor air quality. We actually enjoyed the experience and are working to make all of the suggested changes. It’s hard for us to make changes to old habits as far as the type of cleaners and chemicals we use, but we’re more aware of the issues now."
"The program was very useful and volunteers gave me new insight into things I hadn't even considered before. I was really concerned about mold and moisture problems in my house, and I greatly appreciated the mold check and the infrared tool they used to look for potential problems. I was pleased to find out my house is actually very air-tight and we have no moisture problems. It's a great program, and I hope that it continues."
"The volunteers were very friendly, informative, and professional. They were so thorough they even pointed out a potential problem with my roof that I'mm in the process of checking out. I was able to get rid of some old chemicals that were just sitting around in the garage thanks to the volunteers letting me know about the City's Hazardous Waste Drop-off in June, which I was unaware of before. Overall, I was very pleased."
Find out how you can perform your own guided indoor air quality assessment, or sign up to have Master Home Educators come assess the air quality issues in your home.
Find out about the most common indoor air quality issues that can trigger health problems in your home and what you can do to solve problems for little or no money.
Find out how you can help others, learn new skills and improve the health and safety of homes in the Fort Collins community.
Learn more about indoor air quality to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
7 Key Principles of a Healthy Home
There are 7 key principles that you can follow to make sure your indoor air quality is healthy for you and your family. Download the 7 Key Principles Brochure.
Keeping your house clean reduces allergens and fine particles that can irritate your lungs, and it can keep pests away.
- Take your shoes off before entering your home
- Place a commercial grade doormat at all high traffic entrances
- Dust weekly with a damp microfiber cloth
- Vacuum regularly (HEPA filter vacuums are best)
- Reduce clutter
- Don't allow pets on the furniture
Chemicals in the home can harm your respiratory and nervous system. Be aware of these contaminants:
- Carbon monoxide
- Tobacco mmoke
- Chemical cleaners, air fresheners and candles
- Asbestos and lead
- Household hazardous waste such as paints, pesticides and gasoline
Too much indoor moisture causes mold, structural damage. It also attracts pests.
- Run exhaust fans while you shower and cook
- Look for condensation on windows and wipe it dry
- Regularly check for leaks underneath sinks
- Leave the lid open on your washing machine after you use it
Maintenance ensures the vital systems (ventilation, plumbing and waste management) in your home are in good shape and running efficiently.
Inside your home:
- Check and repair leaks - examine pipes under sinks and in your basement
- Make sure the flues, filters and vents of your heating systems to ensure they are clean and connected properly
- Replace furnace filters regularly with MERV 8-11 filters
Outside the home:
- Clean and unblock your dryer vent every year
- Clean gutters regularly
- Extend downspouts 5 ft away from the home, and make sure the surrounding ground doesn't slope towards the building
Insects and rodents can trigger allergies and asthma and spread disease. Pests seek out food, water, and hiding places.
- Look for evidence of pests, and use non-toxic pest control strategies
- Keep your home free of clutter and as clean as possible
- Store food including pet food in plastic air-tight containers
- Seal exterior gaps and install weatherstripping at the bottom of garage and exterior doors
Proper ventilation helps to reduce a variety of indoor air pollutants
- Open the windows whenever possible
- Make certain exhaust fans and ventilation systems are working properly and venting air to the outside
- Run vent fans when cooking or showering
- Provide extra ventilation when using chemical cleaning products, glues, or paints.
Be aware of the most common dangers in your home
- Install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries regularly
- Plan and discuss escape routes and meeting locations in the case of an emergency
- Keep a fire extinguisher where it is easy to reach in case of an emergency
- Keep your house uncluttered and well lit
- Keep pesticides and household cleaners out of the reach of children
- Properly dispose of unused chemicals and paints