You Ask, We Answer: How Can I Make My Home More Climate-Safe?
Soaring temps, skyrocketing energy bills, storms that deliver a month’s worth of rain: Climate change is bringing rapid shifts to the doorsteps of our Connecticut homes, but you can take some simple steps to make your home more climate-safe. Here are our favorites–and rest assured, some of them don’t cost a thing (and may save you money, too!).
Think: energy efficiency
You may have heard it when you were young, and as it turns out, your mother was right: Shorter showers, turning off the sink while brushing your teeth, and not running water while you do that stack of dishes in the sink really can make a difference–and it’s free! Conserving water, particularly if there is a drought in your area, is incredibly important as our weather patterns continue to evolve. If you’re in the market to replace your dishwasher, toilets, or showerheads, consider buying options that will help reduce how much water your household uses.
And, it’s not just water usage that we need to consider; energy usage also contributes to climate change, so being mindful of turning off lights when they’re not in use, shutting down technology when possible, and turning off the TV when you’re not actively watching something can all help to reduce your usage–and your utility bill! Keeping your air conditioning set around 78 will help relieve you of the humidity outside, and will still help keep your home cool without putting even more strain on our power grids. And swapping out old appliances (like refrigerators, air conditioners, washer and dryers, for instance) for newer, more energy efficient options can also go a long way in helping to reduce energy usage–and the cost associated with it.
Look around your Connecticut home and notice where the “brains” and “heart” are: Is your water heater in the basement? How about your HVAC system? Did you move your washer and dryer into the garage to make more room inside? Like many of us, you may not have given a second thought to the placement of these critical home appliances, but with flash floods becoming more common and many of us having to deal with water inside our homes as a result, considering the placement of these items is becoming more important.
If you live in a home with multiple floors, ask your plumber to recommend where to move your critical systems to help mitigate the risk of water damage on the lower floors. Or, if this isn’t an option, consider elevated stands on which to place appliances to help lower the risk of water reaching (and damaging) them.
Assess your risk factor
Whether your Calcagni Real Estate agent is helping you search for a new house or you’re interested in protecting your current Connecticut home, you can learn more about the climate risk you may face by using reliable search tools provided by the U.S. government. Climate Explorer from NOAA is a great tool that provides current weather maps, historical trends in your area, high-tide flooding information, and plans to ensure your Connecticut home is resilient in the face of climate change, no matter where in Connecticut you reside.
Start with native plants
Many of us have gas-powered generators to fall back on when the power goes out, which is happening more frequently as storms become more intense. In fact, ClimateCentral.org notes that “Between 2000 and 2021, about 83% of reported major outages in the U.S. were attributed to weather-related events.”
If you don’t yet have a generator and would like an eco-friendly option that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels for power, solar panels offer a long-term solution that may help lower your utility bills in the long run. They also work in the short term to harness the energy of the sun to keep your home powered up while you work (or play!) from home, with any overflow usage being stored for when you need it at night.
And, Connecticut offers incentives for installing solar panels, which you can learn more about here.
Learning how to make your home more climate safe may help bring you peace of mind as we navigate Connecticut’s rapidly changing weather patterns. We’ll continue giving you helpful ideas to keep your Connecticut home safe and sound in the months to come!