As we transition from winter to spring, many homeowners are readying their homes and properties for the impact the changing seasons have. If you’re a first-time homeowner, you might not be as familiar with the impact that the seasons can have on your home, especially how they can change the air quality. Keep reading to find out how the changing of the seasons affects indoor air quality and what you can do to prepare this spring and year-round.
The transition from winter to spring can be a particularly difficult time for homeowners, their homes, and their property. In the Midwest, homeowners must deal with melting snow along with a fast-approaching rainy season. This means that there will be more moisture in the ground and air than ever—certainly more than we’re used to over the course of the dry winter season. High humidity levels cause moisture buildup on both indoor and outdoor surfaces, which may lead to mold under the right conditions. Mold is a common allergen for those with seasonal allergies. Add in the elevated pollen levels during the spring, and this season can be a nightmare for those with allergies. These allergens can make their way into your home through a variety of methods and pollute your indoor air. Learn how to keep your home guarded against springtime allergens.
Tips for Better Spring Indoor Air Quality
There are multiple methods you can use to protect your home from poor air quality in the spring. First, you’ll want to change your home air filter to prepare for the influx of pollutants the spring weather brings. A good rule of thumb for changing your air filter is every 90 days, which averages out to every season. Make sure to also monitor your home’s humidity levels through your HVAC or other monitoring systems. While monitoring your indoor humidity levels, watch out for ratings higher than 50 percent. These heightened levels could lead to discomfort, mold growth, and more. Use a dehumidifier to pull some of the excess moisture from the air and make your home more comfortable.
Fortunately, blooming trees, flowers, and other plants start to decrease pollen production as spring transitions to summer. This means pollen counts will decrease, making seasonal allergies a bit easier to deal with in the summer. Humidity levels can fluctuate in the summer, and some days will be drier than others. Keep your dehumidifier on standby just in case humidity levels start to rise again. Some areas experience elevated temperatures during the summer, which require air conditioning. If your HVAC unit incorporates outdoor air into the air intake, be wary of mold and high dust levels that can occur during the summer months. And while summer might have low pollen levels, watch out for dust. The drier air and weather conditions lead to more dust, which can be funneled into your home through the outdoor air intake, open windows, and more.
Tips for Better Summer Indoor Air Quality
Continue to monitor humidity levels, especially during rainy periods of the summer months. The transition period from spring to summer can also bring high humidity levels. Keep your dehumidifier on standby if your home’s humidity levels start to reach above 50 percent. During the hotter periods of the summer, running your air conditioner will help promote good ventilation. This will also keep your family cool and comfortable. If you choose to open windows to keep your family cool, be wary of letting dust and other pollutants in through this ventilation system. Make sure to inspect your air purifier and change the filter again after the standard 90-day period.
While spring is also a season of considerable mold growth, fall takes the cake. Fall brings back extra moisture in the air as the falling leaves and other debris on the ground start to decay. This combination offers the perfect conditions for mold and mildew growth outdoors. Therefore, your seasonal allergies might start to flare up again during the fall months. Mold spores from decaying materials can travel indoors through carriers like pets or through airflow and ventilation. To make matters worse, some plants may start adding to pollen levels again in the fall. This leads to elevated levels of allergens and pollutants that can enter your home.
Tips for Better Fall Indoor Air Quality
Make sure you have a new air filter in place for the fall months to catch pollen and air pollutants like mold spores trying to enter your home. Proper ventilation is also key to keeping humidity levels in check and preventing mold growth indoors. This is why it’s important to inspect your HVAC unit and have a professional service it regularly. This helps keep your ventilation, air conditioning, and de/humidifier in top shape throughout the year. It also helps to keep your gutters and overall property clean and free of debris like fallen leaves, helping cut down on mold and mildew growth around your yard.
Unlike the conditions of spring, fall, and parts of summer, you may struggle with air that is too dry during the winter. It can be difficult to find the right balance of humidity and dryness during this season. This can lead to uncomfortable conditions throughout your home. If your humidifier is set too high, you may start to notice condensation on your windows and other surfaces. However, if your air is too dry, you might notice static shock and cling around the house. Additionally, winter storms can cause considerable damage to your home’s roof, siding, and other areas. Melting snow can cause water to trickle into your home, leading to structural problems or even festering into mold growth if the area is warm enough.
Tips for Better Winter Indoor Air Quality
Navigating the winter months is all about finding the right balance in your home’s humidity levels. Aim for a humidity level of 40-45 percent. This will ensure that your air is dry enough to prevent mold and condensation but humid enough to avoid being uncomfortable indoors. Also, make sure to inspect your home for any damage after strong winter storms.
Hopefully, this brief guide has helped explain how the changing of the seasons affects indoor air quality. Use this guide and these tips to help you navigate through the transition from season to season in your home. These tips will help keep you feeling comfortable and healthy in your home year-round. And if you do notice signs of mold growth or other home damage along the way, contact us at Aloha Restoration for mold removal in Barrington and other Chicagoland suburbs.