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5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Effects of Climate Change

Extreme weather can be detrimental to our homes. Here are five ways to prepare your home for the effects of climate change.

how to prepare your home for climate change
Written by
Annie Button
Published
A changing world means a shift in the way that we think about our homes. In recent years, climate change has led to increased instances of extreme weather—from
intense heat
to wildfires to
flooding
to storms.
The impact of ramped-up elements on our homes is simple to understand—more rain can lead to flooding, heat waves to overheated homes, droughts and strong wind to fire. And while many of our houses were crafted with convenience in mind, certain choices can turn on us in the wake of
climate change
. For example, a home designed to retain heat may become unbearable as temperatures rise.
The good news is that making changes now can help prepare you for these negative impacts—and some shifts can even contribute to a healthier environment by reducing your home's
carbon footprint
Here, five ways to prepare your home for the effects of climate change.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Effects of Climate Change

1. Implement a Green Roof

Covering the roof of your home with live plants and grass offers several benefits, beginning with reducing heat penetration and preventing your home from overheating. Green roofs can even help mitigate the severity of
heat islands
, urban areas with infrastructure that combines to create additional warming.
In addition to their cooling effects, living roofs can also lessen flood risks, as the greenery functions to absorb a portion of water runoff. What’s more, increasing the amount of plant life in our urban areas can help to absorb pollutants and provide a habitat for insects and wildlife. 

2. Raise Appliances and Electrical Outlets

Flooding is a common effect of extreme weather, whether from storms or runoff created after periods of drought and heat are followed by ample rainfall. As such, raising electrical outlets from their oft-discreet placement near the floorboard to a potentially safer (i.e. drier) height may be crucial in the coming years.

3. Install Solar Shading

Solar shading
is an effective means of combatting rising temperatures, helping to minimize overheating by controlling the amount of heat and light that enters a property—all without energy waste. Along with protecting the integrity of your home, the additional step makes your living space more comfortable, increasing overall well-being.
This passive method of home cooling can take on various forms, each of which has an immense impact on energy use. Potential cooling structures include overhanging balconies, light shelves, blinds, adjustable awnings—even trees and vegetation. 

4. Invest in Backup Power Supplies

Whether you live in
hurricane
or wildfire country, loss of power is a potential problem across the world. Having a backup power supply can offer peace of mind and ensure that you still have access to your phone and appliances should the grid go down.
In addition to investing in
portable solar chargers
, rooftop solar panels with battery storage allow you to harness stored power whenever you need to, making use of energy that’s been gathered during the day.

5. Clear Combustible Materials

Higher temperatures mean increased chances of wildfires, which can affect urban areas, too. In preparation, make sure the land around your home is free from combustible materials.
Gutters should be kept free of leaves and debris, and trees trimmed back so that any vegetation is several feet from your home. It’s also important to ensure that window frames and door frames are fire-resistant. (Vinyl frames, which are commonly used in homes, will melt in the face of fire.)