Black carbon (BC) was measured every 5 min for two years (May 1998-May 2000) inside and immediately outside a northern Virginia house (suburban Washington, DC) occupied by two nonsmokers. Two aethalometers, which measure BC by optical transmission through a quartz fiber tape, were employed indoors and outdoors. Meteorological parameters were obtained on an hourly basis from nearby Dulles airport. Indoor activities were recorded to identify indoor sources such as combustion activities, which occurred 9% of the time during the first year and 4% of the time during the second year. At times without indoor sources, indoor/outdoor BC ratios averaged 0.53 in the first year and 0.35 in the second year. The main outdoor source of BC was the general regional background, contributing 83-84% of the total during each of the two years. Morning rush hour traffic contributed 8-9% of the total BC. An evening peak in the fall and winter, thought to include contributions from wood burning, was responsible for approximately 8% of the annual average BC concentration. The main indoor sources of BC were cooking and candle burning, contributing 16 and 31%, respectively, of the annual average indoor concentrations in the two years. Relative humidity (RH) affected the outdoor aethalometer in both years. An artifact associated with the tape advance was noted for the aethalometer, but a correction factor was developed that reduced the associated error by a factor of 2.