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La Niña Winter Hits the Pacific Northwest Hard

By Clean Crawls on September 27, 2017

Promises Dramatic Spikes To Seattle Area Heating Bills… And Unwelcome Visitors!

All residents of the Pacific Northwest are well aware of the rollercoaster year we have had weather-wise. In the last 12 months alone, we have experienced record wet and dry spells, especially in Western Washington. Now, the most recent computer models and weather predictions are all learnings towards yet another phenomenon by the name of La Niña.

 

What Is La Niña?

Commonly referred to as La Niña, this term is used to describe a weather event that causes the east-central Pacific Ocean to experience cooler-than-normal temperatures. This change in climate pattern can occur at irregular intervals, and new predictions show that there is up to a 60% chance of it happening in 2017.

This means that the Pacific Northwest will likely be experiencing below-normal temperatures and heavy rainfall this winter. Although this often results in great ski seasons, it also means that residents and homeowners in the PNW should prepare for these extreme conditions.

la niña in the pacific northwest

It’s worth mentioning that La Niña winter increases the chances of cold weather and snow in the lowlands and in the mountains. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is the agency in charge of analyzing the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere, has issued La Niña Watch for the Northwest as there are strong indications that we will experience it this year during winter.

The two main results of La Niña winters are exceptionally cold temperatures and heavy precipitation. These, in turn, can cause a spike in energy costs and even lead to unwanted visitors trying to find shelter in your home.

 

La Niña Winter and Energy Efficiency

Because the PNW is set to experience below-average temperatures, your home will most likely require more energy to heat up and stay warm throughout the winter months. Because you need to pay special attention to your home’s energy efficiency, insulation becomes even more important.

Besides making sure you have an energy efficient heating system, you also have to analyze your entire home. For instance, having functional insulation will help keep heat inside of your house. On the other hand, old and damaged insulation allows heat to escape your home, which means that your HVAC system will be working more than it should.

Combine this with the fact that temperatures are most likely going to be cooler-than-usual and you will experience a huge spike in energy consumption, and of course, higher utilities. One of the best ways to mitigate this is by checking on your insulation or having it inspected by a professional.

Keep in mind that installing new insulation can significantly reduce your current bills, depending on the shape of your old insulation. In addition to this, new insulation can help prevent a spike in your heating costs when La Niña hits the Northwest.

 

Puget Sound Energy Raises Prices

As if La Niña was not enough, there is a strong possibility that our local energy supplier, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), will soon increase costs. PSE would increase prices by 1% across the board after reaching a settlement that will allow them to shut down a major coal-power complex in Montana. Although the settlement is still being reviewed by the Utilities and Transportation Commission, the agreement is believed to have a strong chance of going through because of the environmental benefits it would have.

The rebates that the utilities offer are continually in flux and subject to change (as they are often prone to do). Now, no one has a crystal ball, but historically when natural gas prices decrease (as the recent September Seattle Times article suggests) rebates are usually decreased (or even taken away entirely). If you are wanting to get a rebate for having energy-efficiency-related work done you might want to consider getting on it before it is too late.

 

What Does This All Mean For You?

So, what does all of the above mean for homeowners and residents of the Pacific Northwest? It means that you need to start looking for ways to help reduce costs and increase energy efficiency in order to avoid paying very high utility bills during winter.

In addition to higher heating costs, La Nina can also cause another major problem for residents and homeowners: rodent infestations. Unfortunately, rats and mice are also affected by cold spells, and warm homes pose a great alternative for them to move into come wintertime.

Rodents can invade your home in a variety of ways so you should be looking to pest-proof your house to avoid any unwanted visitors from infesting your house. Any gaps, cracks, and spaces in your home can be used as an entry point once the temperature starts dropping.

 

Finding a Reliable Crawl Space and Pest Control Service Provider

The best thing you can do in order to avoid high heating costs and rodent infestations during La Nina winters is hiring a professional crawl space and attic insulation specialist. Not only this, but you also want to find a reliable pest control service provider that will help safeguard your home against any imminent infestation threats.

At Clean Crawls, we provide professional attic and crawl space insulation in the PNW that help increase energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs. We also offer pest-proofing services that will help prevent rodent or any other type of infestation come La Nina winter.

You can get in touch with us by filling out our online contact form or by giving us a call, and our team of professionals will be more than glad to inspect and help protect your home against high heating costs and rodent infestations.

 

Clean Crawls
Attic and crawl space specialist since 2001.

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