The science is in: climate change is real. Rising temperatures and sea levels, warming oceans, shrinking glaciers, extreme weather events and ocean acidification are here to stay. Too many people think that the idea of environmental issues only applies to oceans, forests, and parks, but Connecticut homeowners are also affected by the way our climate is changing. Here is a look at the top five environmental issues we are facing every day.
1. Warmer Weather
Globally, the past three years have been the hottest on record. Not only are temperatures rising higher than usual, but extreme heat is hitting Connecticut sooner rather than later. Rather than a couple of runs of high heat in July and August, stifling heat waves are setting in at the onset of summer.
Even just a few degrees will cause your home cooling system to work harder, and record-setting temperatures are leading to more Connecticut households to switch on the A/C far sooner in the season than normal. What does a hotter and longer summer mean for the average household? Higher energy bills and an increase in HVAC maintenance and repair as A/C units are repeatedly put to the test.
2. Extreme Weather
Heavy rains, tropical storms, and snowy winters are all part of living in Connecticut. Even so, climate change is forcing homeowners to combat dangerous environmental issues that are abnormal for the area. Hurricane Sandy is a prime example, and one that continues to linger on the minds of people up and down the East Coast. While a damaging tropical storm has always been possible, few people were prepared to handle a full-blown hurricane. With almost $400 million in damages and countless days without power, preparing for extreme weather events has since become a necessity for coastal homeowners.
As those of us in New England know, extreme weather isn’t just limited to warm events. Connecticut has been averaging more than twice the normal snowfall over the last few years, with this past February being the coldest month on record. When environmental issues drive up instances of extreme weather in the winter, homeowners must foot the bill as energy suppliers try to keep up with increased demand.
3. Worsened Air Pollution
Environmental issues can’t solely be blamed on car emissions or industrial waste. The boost in ground-level ozone continues to create more smog, or lingering fog mixed with smoke, air pollution, and other irritants. As temperatures continue to increase, more and more smog will make its way to your neighborhood. Additionally, warmer temperatures encourage smog to stick around for longer periods of time. The bad news doesn’t stop there. Warmer temperatures mean longer pollen seasons, longer growing seasons and longer seeding seasons. The compound effect of these variances translates to poorer air conditions year after year.
The result is more trips to the doctor and hospital for those with allergies, asthma, and cardiopulmonary conditions. It also means more effort and expense to create a safe, comfortable home environment. Rather than being able to open the windows on a nice day, more and more people will have to keep the HVAC systems running to maintain air movement through filtration and purification systems.
4. Higher Sea Levels
Coastal Connecticut is already suffering from higher sea levels. Environmental issues that are currently causing trouble include frequent flooding and eroding beaches. As the shoreline recedes, areas that may have been “safe” — or far enough inland — are now subject to the effects of climate change. Connecticut has experienced a rise of 8 inches in sea level in the last 200 years; some experts are predicting a similar rise over the next 80 years.
Experts also predict that the rise in sea levels on the Connecticut coastline will lead to an increase in tropical storms. They gone as far as to rephrase the term “100-year flood” with 50-year, 32-year, or even 17-year floods by the end of this century.
5. Possible Cuts to Energy Efficiency Programs
Although not a direct result of climate change, this problem directly affects Connecticut homeowners who are trying to combat environmental issues. Government-sponsored energy efficiency programs can be affected by budget cuts or legislation changes at any time. For this reason, homeowners should take advantage of energy-saving and money-saving programs before they change–or are removed entirely.
Defending Your Home
Be prepared to defend your home against environmental issues. Schedule your home energy assessment to develop a custom-made game plan to protect you and your family.Return to Blog