Air Quality Overview

In the United States, the EPA has created what is known as the Air Quality Index which measures and reports on air quality. While the intention of the Air Quality Index (AQI) when it was initially developed was to protect the general public from hazardous levels of pollutants that may be present in the ozone, the AQI has since been expanded to govern the use of emergency backup power generators.

Policies vary by individual states and cities, but all have in place codes which govern when emergency backup generators may be tested. It is important that you be familiar with your region’s air quality restrictions. Also, you need to regularly check the AQI for your area before running certain testing or maintenance procedures.

To check the air quality levels in your area, simply enter your zip code in the AQI Checker above and click submit.

It is important to note that these AQI readings do not affect running an emergency backup generator in the event of a true emergency.

Philadelphia Air Quality

It is important to be aware that Philadelphia participates in Air Quality Action Days. These action days regulate when an emergency backup generator or fire pump can be operated.

In accordance with regulations in this area, no testing and / or tuning of such equipment can be performed on any day that has been declared an Air Quality Action Day, unless there is a true and dire emergency with your electrical equipment. According to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Air Quality Action days are determined when AQI readings measure greater than 100.

Philadelphia also follows strict regulations during the Ozone Season and enforces more stringent codes during this time of year. The Ozone Season runs May 1st through September 30th.

It is important to note that the city of Philadelphia does allow for some exceptions to Air Quality Action Day and Ozone Season policies. For instance, the city recognizes the need for certain hospitals and critical care units to perform testing. They may be allowed to do so if certain conditions are met. For a complete list of these conditions, please see the official Air Management Regulation document published by the city of Philadelphia.

New Jersey Air Quality

New Jersey air quality regulations operate differently than regulations governed in the surrounding region. For this reason, it is important to be aware that the state of NJ does not rely on AQI metrics for given counties or zip codes in the state, but rather the state as a whole. If any city or town in NJ is reporting unhealthy air quality metrics, then all of New Jersey is prohibited from testing and maintenance of emergency backup generators.

Note that if any NJ location is displaying a reading greater than 100 you must cancel and reschedule your maintenance and/or testing.

In accordance with NJ AQI regulations, air quality metrics must be checked after 4pm on the day prior to testing.

Delaware and Southeastern PA Air Quality

Reports show that the air quality in this region has gotten much better over the past 40 years. Nevertheless, there are still strict policies in place prohibiting companies from running emergency backup generators in Delaware and Southeastern PA during periods of time where AQI levels are deemed too high.

Policy in this region states that in order to run testing and / or maintenance on a generator you must first check the air quality in your zip code on the day prior to testing, at a time later than 4:00PM. If readings in your area have an AQI value above 100, you must not run testing / maintenance on your emergency backup generator and will need to reschedule for another day.

Baltimore Air Quality


Please be advised that ASG’s AQI reporting software is run and operated through a third-party. Accordingly, ASG does not assume liability for inaccurate data. Further, ASG strives to provide the most current information regarding air quality policies and regulations. However, we suggest confirming with your state EPA or other governing agency to ensure all regulation information provided is accurate and up-to-date.