Air Quality

Clean air and warm, dry, healthy, homes are a priority for Hamilton City Council. As part of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy’s ‘Breathe Easy’ flagship project, Council is working closely with WEL Energy’s Healthier Homes Programme.

The programme aims to create warmer, healthier, and more comfortable living environments by retrofitting low income Hamilton households with insulation and clean heat devices.

The advantage of WEL’s Healthier Homes programme is it has the potential to address indoor and outdoor air quality issues at the same time, by providing adequate insulation and replacing outdated and inefficient wood burners and unhealthy unflued gas heaters with clean heat alternatives like heat pumps.

In doing this, the scheme works to create warmer, dryer homes while reducing the amount of PM10 emitted to air.

See Environmental Sustainability for further information.

Outdoor Air Quality

Many people might be surprised to learn that the primary cause of air pollution in Hamilton, around 70%, comes from old and inefficient domestic wood burners during the winter months, with transport and industry playing a relatively minor role.

The main cause in this case is PM10- a fine particulate that enters the air following combustion which is then inhaled by people.

Fortunately for Hamilton residents, the city’s PM10 levels are currently within the Ministry for the Environment’s National Air Quality Standard making Hamilton a ‘complying’ air-shed under the standard.

However, according to the World Health Organisation there is technically no safe level of PM10, so there are still plenty of good reasons to reduce levels where possible.

Indoor Air Quality

Studies show that we spend up to 70-90% of our lives indoor - whether at home, at work, or a combination of the two. And not surprisingly, its young children and the elderly that tend to spend the most of their time indoors - the same two groups are most vulnerable to the health affects associated with poor air quality.

Yet, despite this, of New Zealand’s 1.4 million homes, a staggering two-thirds are inadequately insulated, curtained, draft proofed, ventilated or positioned to make the most of our country’s relatively sunny climate. So if you’re feeling cold or damp,  you’re not alone.

There are many ways you can improve the air quality and comfort levels within the home - and they don’t have to cost the earth either.

In fact, with up to 50% of all heat being lost through the ceiling alone, just insulating this area can make a world of difference to comfort levels and help reduce your monthly energy bill in the process.

Find out more about Air Quality

Visit the following to find out more information in regards to air quality:

Waikato Regional Council
  • Air quality in Hamilton
  • Get the most from your firewood
  • Home fires
  • Motor vehicles 

Hamilton City Council

Financial Assistance

Visit the following to find out more information in regards to air quality financial assistance:

Page reviewed: 15 Apr 2016 3:32pm