Andrea R. Ferro1,2, Naděžda Zíková2,3, Mauro Masiol2,4,5, Gursumeeran P. Satsangi2,6, Thomas Twomey1, David C. Chalupa4, David Q. Rich4, Philip K. Hopke  2,4 

1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA
2 Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA
3 Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals Czech Academy of Sciences, 165 02 Praha 6, Czechia
4 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
5 Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, 30123 Venice, Italy
6 Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra 411007, India

Received: May 15, 2022
Revised: July 3, 2022
Accepted: July 5, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Ferro, A.R., Zíková, N., Masiol, M., Satsangi, G.P., Twomey, T., Chalupa, D.C., Rich, D.Q., Hopke, P.K. (2022). Residential Indoor and Outdoor PM Measured Using Low-cost Monitors during the Heating Season in Monroe County, NY. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • Low-cost monitors (LCMs) provided reasonable precision to estimate PM2.5.
  • LCMs were used to measure indoor and outdoor PM2.5 in 2 winter seasons.
  • LCMs allowed a means of comparing PM concentrations across residences.
  • Mean I/O PM2.5 ratio was 1.1 for all homes; 1.7 when combustion sources were used.
  • Increased indoor PM arose from combustion and non-combustion indoor sources.


Continuous 1-minute indoor and outdoor PM concentrations (~PM2.5) were measured from November through April of 2015/16 and 2016/17 at 50 single family residences in Monroe County, NY (25 per season) using Speck (Airviz Inc., Pittsburgh, PA) low-cost monitors (LCMs). While the accuracy of LCMs is inconsistent and source dependent, the LCMs provided reasonable precision for estimating indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios based on laboratory and field testing, understanding the relationship between indoor sources and concentration, and comparing PM concentrations across residences for the detected size range (0.5-3 mm). The indoor PM2.5 concentration pattern showed clear morning and evening peaks as well as higher indoor concentrations during the weekends when people are typically at home. The mean I/O PM2.5 ratio was 1.1 for all homes and increased to 1.7 when a combustion source was in use as indicated by an elevated CO concentration whereas most prior studies have found this ratio to be < 1. Increases in wood-burning appliance temperature and indoor CO concentrations were found to be associated with an overall moderate (mean value of 2.1 µg/m3) increase in indoor PM concentration averaged over the heating season. Short-term PM increases greater than 100 µg/m3 were periodically observed in homes with and without wood-burning appliances operating. This study provides an approach for exposure assessment in homes that can be utilized by employing appropriate calibration and quality assurance procedures for the LCMs.

Keywords: Residential PM, Indoor aerosol, Indoor-outdoor relationship, Low-cost monitors, Wood-burning appliance

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