Indoor Air Quality

How Spring Rainfall Affects Indoor Air Quality

We're always glad to see spring rains in our region, but sometimes, it can rain so abundantly that we're beset with complications in our homes and landscapes. Among the several problems that abundant spring rainfall can bring are poor indoor air quality.

Too Much Moisture

A little bit of moisture in your home's air is a good thing. It keeps your skin, nasal passages and wooden furniture from drying out and cracking. But too much moisture can cause problems, including these:

  • Musty-smelling air.

  • Fungus, mildew and mold.

  • Damp, clammy, uncomfortable feeling.

  • People feel warmer, so that they need to turn the thermostat down.

How much is too much humidity? It depends on how warm or cold it is. Warm air does hold more moisture, while cold air holds less. But generally, relative humidity in the home should be between 30 and 50 percent. Any more than 50 percent, and you're likely to experience some of the conditions listed above.

In times of abundant rainfall, the relative humidity in a home can climb upward by several means:

  • Minute cracks in the home that allow the HVAC system to pull moist air into the interior.

  • Leaks in the roof or in plumbing.

  • Moisture-laden earth that penetrates through slab foundations.

Controlling Moisture in the Home's Air

Your best defense against high relative humidity during rainy times is to ensure your HVAC system is working properly. Schedule spring maintenance and ask your technician to check the indoor evaporator coils, making sure they're clean so that they help remove moisture from the home's air properly. Also, change the air filter regularly. The A/C will do a better job of removing moisture from the home's air when there's a clean filter in it.

You can also lower humidity by installing exhaust ventilation to the outdoors in bathrooms and the kitchen. If humidity is still high, talk to your HVAC consultant about installing a dehumidification system, or using a portable model during the rainy season.

Air Assurance is available to discuss indoor air quality and other HVAC topics in Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.