Estimation of uncertainty in tracer gas measurement of air change rates

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 Dec;7(12):4238-49. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7124238. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


Simple and economical measurement of air change rates can be achieved with a passive-type tracer gas doser and sampler. However, this is made more complex by the fact many buildings are not a single fully mixed zone. This means many measurements are required to obtain information on ventilation conditions. In this study, we evaluated the uncertainty of tracer gas measurement of air change rate in n completely mixed zones. A single measurement with one tracer gas could be used to simply estimate the air change rate when n = 2. Accurate air change rates could not be obtained for n ≥ 2 due to a lack of information. However, the proposed method can be used to estimate an air change rate with an accuracy of <33%. Using this method, overestimation of air change rate can be avoided. The proposed estimation method will be useful in practical ventilation measurements.

Keywords: indoor air; perfluorocarbon; tracer gas; ventilation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Air Movements*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Gases*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Uncertainty*
  • Ventilation / methods


  • Gases