First Advisor

Elliott Gall

Term of Graduation

Summer 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Materials Engineering




Wood stoves -- Environmental aspects -- Oregon -- Washington County, Indoor air quality -- Oregon -- Washington County, Air quality management



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 87 pages)


More than six million people in the United States use wood stoves as their primary heat source. Wood stoves emit air pollutants that may impact health, e.g., wood combustion products are associated with premature death and aggravation of pulmonary and cardiovascular conditions. There are few studies investigating the efficacy of wood stove exchange programs (WSEPs) as a method to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). In partnership with Washington County Department of Health and Human Services we conducted an air quality study to measure the impact of a WSEP on indoor and neighborhood levels of wood combustion products. Twenty households engaged in the air quality study, consisting of monitoring pre and post stove change-out where a newer, more efficient burning stove or gas insert was installed. Monitors deployed included low cost particle counters to measure indoor and outdoor particle levels, a blower-door test to measure residence airtightness, and stove use monitoring. In five additional households we did more intensive monitoring which added deployment of a weather station and research grade monitors for carbon monoxide, black carbon, size resolved particles from 10 nm - 10 µm, and in select homes, NO and NO2.

Median levels of PM2.5 measured by PurpleAir sensors, pre and post-exchange were similar in magnitude when comparing across all homes, increasing indoors by 0.6 ug/m3 and decreasing outdoors by 0.2 ug/m3. Comparing air quality levels only during periods of woodstove use led to more marked differences when comparing pre and post-exchange impacts, with 12 of 17 homes exhibiting a median indoor PM2.5 reduction of 0.8 ug/m3. Additionally, 13 of 17 houses with data available showed large transient peaks of PM2.5 when first operating the new woodstove. This data was analyzed to find a PM2.5 stove emission source strength for four homes. The four homes had an average stove source strength of 14,130 ug/h.


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