Researchers at UNE (University of New England, NSW, Australia) with support from Armidale Dumaresq Council, NSW and SmartBurn conducted a 3 year field experiment between 2008- 2010 assessing the effectiveness of education and SmartBurn in reducing air pollution generated by domestic wood heaters.
The town of Armidale suffers from temperature inversion layers which sometimes trap high levels of wood smoke in the atmosphere. It is estimated that about one-third of all Armidale housholds use wood for heating, and, in winter,daily levels of PM2.5 regularly exceed National Health Advisory limits- frequently by as much as three times the limit.
Two hundred and twenty four households were randomly assigned to one of four conditions for the study, with one of four experimental conditions; 1/ Education only 2/ SmartBurn only 3/ Education and SmartBurn 4/ Neither (control)
The study revealed that education and SmartBurn were both associated with a significant reduction in wood smoke emissions during the post intervention period. Mediation analysis revealed that the significant effect of education on household wood smoke emissions could be fully explained by changes in wood heater operation, whereas SmartBurn exerted a direct effect on emission levels
Professor Don Hine from the University Of New England (NSW) was quoted as saying;
“We conducted a field experiment last year and found that both education and SmartBurn canisters were effective in significantly reducing wood smoke emissions from participating households.”