If you don’t like the weather in New England–wait a minute. Does this thinking jade us? Maybe. Many scientists say this crazy weather we are having is in fact, CLIMATE CHANGE.
We started off last week with a King Tide that flooded many low-laying areas and gave us a glimpse of what sea level rise will mean locally. The “Snowtober” Halloween Weekend storm came as the end-of-the-week surprise and has left hundreds of thousands in the Northeast without power. By this Thursday, temps will be upwards of 60 degrees again!
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Postcards from the Edge series details the 2010-2011 climate change evidence with images and notes from coast to coast. The lesson for us in the Northeast: the back-to-back storms that hit Washington D.C.–which became known as Snowmageddon–were the result of warmer air that holds more water vapor. When the warm, moist air meets a cold front–whammo!
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we are in for it again. NOAA is predicting an upcoming season of wild temperature swings due to La Nina conditions and the Arctic Oscillation that will suddenly bring the coldest air in from Canada–resulting in Snowmageddon-like conditions that occur when a greenhouse-gassed warm front collides with Arctic air.
Let’s get our homes and coffers ready. Here are 30 Green Quick Fixes to keep the chill out of the house and money left in your wallet.
1. Check your heating-system filters and change or clean them if they are dirty. Your heating equipment will run more efficiently, saving you money. Note, National Grid recommends that a professional inspect all heating equipment every two years for efficiency, as well as for safety.
2. Bleed radiators (when they are cooled) and consider adding radiator thermometer valves to regulate each register.
3. Consider having your chimney up and running to reduce dependence on utility-powered heat. Be sure to contact a professional, as unnoticed clogs in chimneys can result in carbon monoxide exposure.
4. Inspect attic insulation and add any insulation you’ve been intending to install. The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association has resources that discuss energy savings and materials, including recycled newspaper and cellulose varieties at SimplyInsulate.com. Note, when adding insulation, be sure appliances are adequately vented to prevent carbon monoxide exposure.
5. Weather-strip and caulk cracks in walls, jams and floors. Check for worn out weather-stripping and replace. Check with your local community action program for how to access an infra-red camera to find those week spots you can’t see with the naked eye.
6. Seal leaky duct work with metal-backed tape to guard against heat loss when the system is on.