Homes aren’t designed to withstand these brutal heatwaves – but they

The buildings are designed according to the local climate to keep people safe and comfortable: warm when it is cold outside, dry when wet and sheltered when it is stormy. If the climate changes, buildings may struggle to meet our needs in the new conditions. of Britain Recent 40 degree Celsius heatwave showed that many existing structures—particularly the houses where we spend two thirds of our lives-not for work,

are older people with existing health problems the most vulnerable during hot weather, as the heat can intensify potentially fatal conditions Like respiratory and heart disease and even Alzheimer’s. As many as an initial guess suggests 1,000 additional deaths A three-day heatwave in mid-July 2022 could result in England and Wales.

Every country must upgrade its buildings to keep people safe as the world warms. This is part of what climate change experts call Customization, The other half of that obligation is mitigation: to cut emissions as quickly as possible to reduce the rise in temperature. By adapting homes to withstand strong heatwaves, countries have the opportunity to meet both needs at the same time.

You may have heard some solutions for decarbonizing buildings: increased roof and wall insulation and double-glazed windows for energy efficiency, and replacing gas boilers with options like heat pumps that can run on renewable electricity. These measures will also help people to stay safe in future during the heat wave.

Just as better insulation keeps warm air in during the winter, it keeps it out in the summer. Shutters or blinds that block out sunlight are an easy option to reduce indoor temperatures by keeping even more heat out. It also helps to paint the roofs a lighter color to better reflect the sun’s rays. In the Australian state of New South Wales, the policy of fully ban dark roofs recently considered.

Shutters have been used for centuries in hot countries to block the midday sun. [Photo: Julian Elliott Photography/Getty Images]

Most of the houses in the UK are heated with gas boilers But there is no equivalent system for cooling. Heat pumps can help. These machines are essentially rear facing refrigerator, Where a fridge sucks heat from its interior and dissipates it through coils on its back, a heat pump sucks heat from outside air (or the ground) and transfers it inside your home to keep you warm in winter. does. This process runs on electricity, so it does so without burning gas.

Heat pumps can be programmed to operate in a reverse cycle, allowing them to pump cold water through radiators in the summer instead of hot. But this cooling cycle has to be built into the heat pump system when it is installed – it’s not as simple as flicking a switch. Unfortunately, the UK government provides very little guidance. The Energy Saving Trust, a government body tasked with making homes more energy efficient, neglects to even mention in its guide to heat pumps that they are able to cool,

The rate at which heat pumps are installed almost double As a result during 2021 in the UK, there will be many homes with new heat pumps, funded by public subsidies, that can only provide heating.

I 2 90775626 Heatwave Proofing Homes Could Save Lives And Cut Carbon
Installed properly, a heat pump can heat as well as cool a home. [Photo: Napa74/iStock/Getty Images Plus]

overall better home

The lack of foresight in national responses to climate change is disappointing. Insulating buildings will help reduce the energy bills of millions of people permanently, but the UK government has starved energy efficiency measures resources over the past decade, Recently, those plans were abandoned in which double funding To make low-income households more energy efficient. Meanwhile, Britain’s newly built homes have suffered a lot same bad insulation as old.

Some countries are becoming more active. Italian homeowners can claim 110% of the cost of energy efficiency improvements against their taxes, up to €100,000 over five years. That’s more than enough to upgrade a home to a net-zero standard, Estimated £26,000 in the UK

If homes required less energy to heat or cool because they were made more energy efficient, it would help reduce (and perhaps eliminate) fuel poverty. If they are able to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures and air quality through better ventilation, they can better accommodate people working or learning from home if another pandemic occurs.

And, if the technology is powered by a scattered renewable energy network, consisting of rooftop solar panels providing additional energy to the grid, society will be more resilient to future spikes in the price of energy. Beyond any benefit of these actions to combat climate change, they simply reflect the reality of modern life.

The solutions are simple, but implementing them will be complex—all countries must coordinate their responses more effectively. A lot of money, both public and private, will be spent on reducing emissions to zero. Unless countries plan to adapt to rising temperatures at the same time, the opportunity for more comfortable, resilient and livable homes will be lost.

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