The testing carried out by the Krakow Smog Alert within the implementation of the integrated LIFE project “Implementation of the Air Quality Plan for the Malopolska Region – Malopolska in a healthy atmosphere” indicates that only one fifth of the single-family buildings in the Malopolska Region is heated with sources that do not adversely affect air quality.
Coal and wood are used to heat over 400 000 single-family houses. As many as 60% of houses (300 000 households) have boilers that can burn everything, including poor quality coal or rubbish. What is more, more than 50% of these boilers are old devices – 12 years and over. Devices of this type are called “smokers” just because of the smoke that gets out of them and the huge amount of pollution that they release in use.
Such a state of affairs makes the residential sector the main source of particulate matter and benzene [a] pyrene pollution in our region. Emissions from low chimneys (mainly houses) account for 57% of PM10 emissions in our Region, 69% of PM2.5 emissions and over 90% of benzo [a] pyrene emissions.
27% of the Malopolska Region houses (142 000) do not have any external thermal insulation. In the houses, the heat energy, instead of heating the space, escapes through the non-insulated walls.
Most owners of single-family houses (77%) do not currently think about replacing boilers. This means that without the regulation and financial support programs in the coming years there will be no significant progress in the elimination of smog sources.