Heat waves increase and intensify
thanks to climate change.
Deadly heat will be more frequent in the coming decades due to global warming, according to a recent study from Nature Climate Change. It projects how many days per year a location will cross the deadly heat threshold (a combination of high temps and humidity). New York City, for example, sees about two of these days per year; that’s projected to rise to about 50 days by 2100!
Sure, your energy costs will go up as you use more air conditioning, but there are other unforeseen heat-related costs that may put additional stress on your finances. Take food and transportation. Just this last week, a Portland, Oregon grocery store’s cooler couldn’t keep up with the triple digit temps, and shut down completely. Both of Portland’s metro public transit systems suffered service problems because of the heat. Airline flights are curtailed above a certain temperature. And we haven’t even mentioned the health-related costs from heat-related illnesses.
A local Portland, Oregon news site offers excellent advice for braving the next heat wave on a budget. Helpful tips to climate-proof your health include home hacks like covering your windows with blankets to block the sunlight, avoiding use of hot appliances like the dishwasher or clothes dryer, and even making your own ‘swamp cooler’ with common household items – also health tips such as avoiding beverages with sugar and alcohol, and eating smaller portions of easy-to-digest food. Check out the full article for more budget-friendly tips and tricks to beat the heat!
Of course, some localities are naturally less prone to heat waves and their associated costs. Check the Health and Energy sections of our Where-to-Live Scorecards to see where might climate-proof your health, energy, and other costs.