How to Prevent the Effects of Climate Change at Home

Basement Climate Change

Climate change affects every single soul on the planet. Even as our friends to the south are still considering whether or not to honour their past commitment to the Paris Agreement going forward, Canadians remain committed to doing our part to lessen those effects.

Furthermore, our commitment remains solid even though our nation contributes only a paltry 1.6 percent to the cumulative burden of global greenhouse emissions.

The truth is, climate change is already here. We can feel it all around us here in Ontario. It is unfolding sufficiently rapidly that we are already tasked with problem solving rather than prevention.

In this post, we take a look at some of the clearest signs of climate change and talk about how you can plan for the most efficient, effective home temperature control.

Increasing Storm Activity

In his work as a professional storm chaser and meteorologist, Toronto-based Mark Robinson knows very well how moody Ontario weather has become. For one thing, storms are increasingly manifesting in clusters rather than as isolated events.

In particular, he points to the increasing ice coverage in the Great Lakes area as a trigger for more aggressive and damaging storm clusters.

Strong winds, torrential rains, tornadoes and hurricanes, intense ice and hail storms, blizzards, and wild thunderstorms can keep weather severe and unpredictable for months at a time.

How to protect yourself:

  • Invest in a backup generator for use during power outages. This can keep A/C and heat going, preserve food stores, charge cellphones, and support vital in-home medical needs.
  • Keep your HVAC and furnace equipment clean, covered, and maintained. This will protect your whole temperature control system and guard against storm damage and expensive repairs. Regular A/C and heating systems maintenance ensures fire hazards are kept to a minimum.
  • Ensure septic and sewer systems are in good working order. Installing backflow prevention valves, and scheduling regular inspection and cleaning services greatly reduces the risk of toxic waste exposure in severe weather situations.

Wider Temperature Extremes

As the impact of climate change continues to unfold, one of its effects is already all too apparent: the hot season is getting hotter and the cold season is getting colder.

In some areas around the world, these temperature extremes are already approaching life-threatening levels.

Here in Ontario, the extremes are still manageable, thankfully. However, they do impact when we can safely venture outdoors as well as how long we can stay outside and what type of protective clothing and gear we need to enjoy the great outdoors safely.

How to protect yourself:

  • Be on guard against mould and mildew. Whether in summer or winter, increasing bouts of unrelentingly wet weather is making its presence known in the form of household and office mould and mildew. Installing a whole house heat recovery system along with a humidifier and a U.V. air purification system can keep indoor humidity levels safe and healthy and send toxins packing.
  • Wear the right clothing and shoes for the weather. One slip on an icy sidewalk could put you out of commission for the season as you heal. It may require a bit of an initial investment, but making sure you have the safest attire for the season can save you lots of money and time in other areas!
  • Watch the air quality reports for your city and borough daily. These reports will warn you of poor air quality times and days so you can minimize your contact with airborne toxins.

Greater Risk from Environmental Toxins

Every degree increase or decrease in regular ambient temperatures has its own impact on the local ecosystem.

For example, as the summer temperatures get hotter for longer periods of time, bacteria, fungi, and parasites take advantage to proliferate. Algae blooms, ocean “dead zones” where the oxygen content falls to zero, and an increase in mosquito, flea, and tick populations are just a few such hazards.

These types of changes not only poison our water supplies and expose us to insect-transmitted diseases, but they also alter the local ecosystem in such a way that formerly plentiful food or resource supplies become less available.

More severe and unpredictable wildfire cycles, such as the type seen this past summer, also release potent toxins into the air supply, causing a spike in cases of respiratory illness and asthma.

How to protect yourself:

  • Keep your air conditioner and furnace filters changed. As the outside air becomes more burdened with airborne toxins, your HVAC will have to work twice as hard to clean your indoor air supply. Give them a helping hand by changing your filters each month during heavy-use months.
  • Have your air ducts professionally cleaned. Even if you start today to change your filters promptly each month, chances are good there are years, even decades, of built-up dust, debris, and allergens clogging up your air duct system. A professional air duct cleaning can give your indoor air a fresh start.
  • Upgrade to HEPA-rated appliances. HEPA-rated appliances can catch airborne toxins as small as 1/100th of a single human hair! This is beneficial for everyone in your household, but especially for anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies or asthma.

Give Us a Call

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