Sustainable Arlington

An Envision Arlington committee & a Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) chapter

A quick, simple step toward a Net Zero Future 

Opt Up to 100% with 

Arlington Community Electricity (ACE)

local renewable energy 


Our Fragile Earth
Climate Crisis Blog

Compiled and maintained by Gail McCormick

 Click here to read Climate Crisis Blog


EnvisionArlington logo

MCAN logo transparent background

Leave The Leaves

Leave the Leaves Campaign

Learn More


Rescue Food. Nourish Our Community

Minuteman Parents Association
Sustainable Arlington
Mass. Climate Action Network


Home Methane Study—Participants Needed

Pin It

Do you heat or cook with natural gas? Or do you have an all-electric home? Do you want to participate in valuable research affecting people's health and the urgent state of the climate crisis? If so, please consider participating in our study. It takes less than 5 minutes to fill out the participant questionnaire

We are looking for 100 homes that heat and/or cook with natural gas and 20 all-electric homes for a study investigating methane concentrations inside of homes. Natural gas is made up of about 95 percent methane; this study seeks to determine methane levels in homes and how much more methane is in the air in gas homes compared to all-electric homes.

This study is being conducted by Gas Safety, Inc, (GSI) in collaboration with Dr. Nathan Phillips, and with funding from ZeroCarbonMA. GSI is a small independent company that tests for methane concentrations indoors and outside. The owner, Bob Ackley, has co-authored several peer reviewed papers, including Home is Where the Pipeline Ends

We encourage you to participate now because we anticipate that spots will go fast! Additional information about the study can be found in FAQs.

read more below


Am I eligible for the study? 

You are eligible to participate in the study if you meet these four criteria:

·         Are at least 18 years old

·         Live in Massachusetts

·         Have a signed waiver from the owner and renter of the residence allowing us to visit the property


·         Heat and/or cook with natural gas


·         Heat and cook with electricity, with no combustion fuels such as gas, propane or oil as back-up heat. It is ok to have a wood-burning fireplace or stove in the house.

How can I participate? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. 

1.    Click on this link for the participant questionnaire;

2.    Have the occupant and owner (in the case of the owner-occupied home, only the owner) of the property sign the waiver; and 

3.    Schedule a free 30-minute visit to your home for a measurement of methane and carbon dioxide concentrations. Mr. Bob Ackley will call to schedule an appointment after the questionnaire is completed.

When: This initial study will run from March 1 - June 30, 2024. 

What can I expect when someone comes to my home to do an air quality test?

Ambient methane levels (CH4) are measured in parts per billion, and carbon dioxide levels (CO2) are measured in parts per million (ppm), respectively, utilizing a Cavity Ringdown Spectrometer (CRDS) Picarro Scouter high precision G4301 CH4/ CO2/ H2O analyzer (the analyzer).

The analyzer, which looks like a backpack, has a small wand at the end. The wand takes the air sample, which is run through the analyzer to determine the concentration of methane and carbon dioxide in the air. The concentrations are displayed in real time on a tablet. 

The concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide  are recorded for later analysis. The entire process takes about 15-30 minutes. In the very rare event that methane levels are found that pose a danger to the household, you will be encouraged to call the gas company. 

This air quality test is used to better understand the health and climate impacts of methane in the home and is not an evaluation of gas pipe and appliance safety. 

Background Information:

Who we are: This study is being conducted by Gas Safety, Inc in collaboration with Dr. Nathan Phillips, and with funding from ZeroCarbonMA. GSI is a small independent company that tests for methane levels indoors and outside. The owner of the company, Bob Ackley, has co-authored several peer-reviewed papers on natural gas leaks, including Home is Where the Pipeline Ends

Why are Gas Safety, Inc. (GSI) and ZeroCarbonMA curious about methane concentrations in the home?  A recent Harvard study suggests that methane is leaking inside buildings at rates much higher than previously understood. Another study found that natural gas is leaking from gas stoves even when they are off. Experience indicates that most homes served by natural gas have slightly elevated levels of methane that often go undetected by people, but which may indicate small methane leaks that can make gas bills more expensive, and which can be bad for health because natural gas contains carcinogens

* * * * * 

Join Our Google Group

Sustainable Arlington uses a Google Group to conduct its discussions and facilitate communications within the SA community.  To join our Google Group please click here!

Like Us On FaceBook

Login Form