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Submitted by Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing

El Niño, ENSO, La Niña, El, er…what?! While Greek to many of us, these common buzzwords of the forecasting community describe recurring climate patterns. There is often a boomerang between these three main patterns for several reasons, but one thing is for certain: these patterns directly affect our weather.

An El Niño pattern develops when trade winds (that blow east to west near the equator) are weak, causing warmer waters in the Pacific to shift east. This pattern typically favors “…wetter winters across the south and the southwestern United States and drier and warmer winters in the Pacific Northwest,” says Aaron Levine, a research scientist at the University of Washington (newsweek.com). This seems to ring true for our recent winter of 2023/24, which was relatively mild here in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo courtesy Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing

La Niña, on the other hand, has the opposite effect, occurring when colder sea surface temperatures off the west coast force the weakened jet stream northward toward Alaska before dipping southward. Winters in a La Niña pattern typically result in increased precipitation and colder temps for the Pacific Northwest (thenewstribune.com).   

And while we’re seemingly coming out of this mild El Niño period of this past winter, it is predicted that we’re headed for a La Niña period this fall…fancy forecaster speak for cooler and wetter weather is coming for us next winter, while in the meantime…summer’s still expected to get hot.

With this forecast, it’s crucial to start preparing your home for the weather ahead. If air conditioning is on your honey-do list (perhaps it has been year after year!), we encourage you to make this your year. Investing in air conditioning now not only ensures your family is comfortable but also safe for warmer seasons, allowing you to shut your doors and windows, blocking out both heat and wildfire smoke.

While comfort this summer is a huge (if not the biggest!) reason to spring for air conditioning now, so are the savings. Just as the mercury is sure to rise, so are prices—a truth we all know too well. New state and federal laws relating to refrigerants (essential cooling agents for air conditioners and heat pumps) are headed our way. The coming years will bring new regulations from entities like the EPA and DEQ to lessen their environmental impact — changes that will impact both the HVAC industry and the consumer.

Photo courtesy Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing

These changes will transform how cooling equipment is designed, how it operates, and how it impacts our environment. They will change what and how equipment can be sold and installed. And while energy savings are expected, these changes mean new equipment will inevitably get a price-hike — by as much as 15-20%.

So if you’re considering new cooling equipment for your home, now may be the best time to pull the trigger before prices spike. Current models offer almost identical energy efficiency to their newer counterparts, meaning you’ll experience the same performance and energy savings now, at a lower price. Through May 31, Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing is offering an incredible deal — a free furnace with purchase of air conditioning or a heat pump! Plus, you’ll earn four clean energy points toward Barron’s It’s Electric Clean Energy Sweepstakes. That’s four entries for your chance to win an all-electric Ford Mustang Mach E and a free EV charger!

Designing for the most negligible environmental impact is the way of the future — from the refrigerator in our kitchen to the car we drive to how we cool our home. And with summer heat quickly approaching and new refrigerant regulations around the corner, our team at Barron encourages you to plan ahead and snag a deal before these regulations impact your pocketbook. Call today! As your Pacific Northwest home and building performance experts since 1972, we stand by our mission of improving lives.   

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