Clean Air Warm Homes talk

On Thursday 9 May from 7 pm to 8 pm at the Athenaeum Hall, Ian Longley of NIWA will give a talk about a new clean air project for Arrowtown.

Arrowtown has a persistent problem with air quality, both inside and outside, in winter. This is due to: wood burning, cooking and smoking inside houses; calm winds preventing smoke dispersing; and polluted air from outside entering and getting trapped inside homes. The Cosy Homes Trust, Otago Regional Council and Southern District Health Board are working together to improve Arrowtown’s environment and air quality and to help households make their homes warmer and healthier. This includes helping home owners access subsidies to improve the insulation in their homes and to change old, non-compliant wood burners for new, ultra low emission wood burners.

NIWA scientists are keen to recruit households to host sensors so they can study the air quality inside and outside their homes. They’re also keen to recruit households that take up heating or insulation subsidies, so they can study air quality before and after the intervention. The sensors will silently test for smoke and record when people are using home heating. Study participants will be given an assessment of how much smoke is in their home and what is causing it, and anonymised results will be made publicly available. You can install the sensors yourself or have NIWA scientists come and do it.

The campaign also involves an Unlocking Curious Minds Project at Arrowtown School. Pupils will participate in a high-tech study, measuring and mapping air quality across the town and sharing their findings with the community and online. This will also be launched on 9 May, at Arrowtown School.

At the talk, Ian will introduce the project and the local project team. He will present past results from similar projects in Hobart, Alexandra and Rangiora. He will talk through what to expect for people who choose to take part in the Arrowtown research and how to read their air quality reports when they receive them. By the time of the talk NIWA hopes to have ODIN sensors installed across the town on lamp posts in Arrowtown – and if so, Ian will share the first air quality animations for Arrowtown

During the evening NIWA will be looking for more participants to host air quality sensors and for the intervention sign-ups (through subsidies to change home heating source and improve insulation).

You can register interest in hosting a sensor on the NIWA website.