Due to the location and climate, Armidale has a significant air quality problem throughout the winter months. These factors effectively 'trap' woodsmoke in the city posing a health risk to residents in Armidale, for some this can be quite serious.
Council has a policy that aims to improve the health and life expectancy of Armidale residents by reducing exposure to fine particle (PM2.5) pollution. This kind of pollution is directly caused by smoke from wood heaters.
The Policy also promotes the efficient use of energy resources to meet householders' needs. Heating can consume a large proportion of household energy budgets, typically 30% for hot water and 20% for home heating. Given our cold winters, the Policy seeks to address home heating needs for the future. Council encourages the use of renewable energy to help households to reduce energy costs and ensure that our community is helping to address environmental issues.
At present, many of our residents use solid fuel (wood) heaters as the sole source of home heating. Smoke generated from these heaters contains a complex mixture of harmful gases and fine particles that generate significant local air pollution across the whole city. The level of pollutants depends upon:
Council has useful information on woodheating. Call 6770 3600 and ask for a FREE education kit.