Homeowners: How Rainfall Can Affect Your Indoor Air QualityApril showers bring May flowers but abundant rainfall can also have some not-so-desirable effects in your home, including poor indoor air quality.

Relative Humidity

You wouldn’t think when it’s raining outdoors the interior of your home could be adversely affected, but it can happen. It’s all about relative humidity. Ideally, the humidity in our homes should measure between 30 and 50 percent. Any higher, and you may experience:

  • Musty, damp odor.
  • Furnishings feel uncomfortably damp.
  • Mildew, fungus and mold appear.
  • Increased energy use as you try to limit the warming effects of high humidity indoors.

The ways that moisture enters your home during rainy times are many, including:

  • Leaks in plumbing and in roofs.
  • HVAC pulls in moist air through minute air leaks all around the home.
  • Moisture in damp, saturated ground may cause damp conditions in the foundation and under the floor.

Lowering Moisture Levels in the Home

You want to maintain a relative humidity of 30-50 percent all year long, but especially in rainy times. Some of the things you can do to lower humidity levels are:

  • Fix plumbing and roof leaks.
  • Air seal around doors and windows, baseboards and any place where moisture may be entering your home through minute cracks.
  • Don’t close HVAC dampers or vents. This can cause a pressure imbalance that makes your system work harder to pull in outdoor air through these tiny cracks.
  • If moisture in your foundation is an extreme problem, look into installing some type of moisture barrier.
  • Install exhaust ventilation to the outdoors in bathrooms and the kitchen.
  • Change your air filter often. A dirty air filter can prevent your HVAC system from properly dehumidifying your home.
  • Schedule annual HVAC maintenance, and ask the technician to check the evaporator coils. Dirty coils also prevent the A/C from adequately dehumidifying the home. The technician should also check the condensate drain to make sure condensation is draining properly from the HVAC system.

Call Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Indianapolis for more HVAC solutions.