Welcome Spring Weather with These Home Comfort Tips
Spring is here, and with it comes beautiful blooms, fresh air and warmer temperatures to the South. The fresh spring air may tempt you to throw open your windows but remember – spring also brings a few unwelcome guests, including pollen and humidity. Knowing how much fresh air to let into your home, and in turn, how to manage your home comfort system, is essential. With these spring weather tips, you’ll be ready to enjoy the beautiful weather without sacrificing comfort or efficiency.
During the spring season in the South, the temperature can vary significantly throughout the day. Chilly mornings give way to hot afternoons, capped off by cool and pleasant evenings. During this time, try not to adjust your thermostat too much, as this can decrease your system’s efficiency over time. Try to stay within a 10-degree range when adjusting your thermostat to a setting that feels comfortable to you.
To help with changing temperatures, let your home get a little colder during the night and it will naturally warm up during the day. You can also change the direction of your fan to help make a room feel warmer or cooler: counterclockwise for cooling (as it circulates cool air downward) or clockwise to draw cool air upward and make the room feel warmer. Most fans are set to cooling by default but can easily be adjusted. Look online for your fan’s operating manual (or ask your HVAC technician) if you aren’t sure how to make the switch.
Spring can be a rainy time, and while the sound of rain on the window is pleasant, it can also make your home feel humid. This damp feeling is a result of water vapor in the air. Warm air can hold more water vapor than cool air, which is why spring air can make your home feel particularly sticky.
While excessive humidity is uncomfortable, you do want a small amount of humidity in your home. If there’s not enough moisture in the air, your skin can feel dry and irritated. If there’s too much humidity, however, it creates a prime environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. Experts advise that the relative humidity in your home should be somewhere between 45 and 55 percent. You can read more about how to tell whether your home is too humid here.
If your home is feeling damp and humid, you can use exhaust fans, ceiling fans and dehumidifiers to reduce the level of moisture in the air. It’s also a good idea to keep your HVAC working properly through annual maintenance to filter out excess moisture. Additionally, remember to change your air filter regularly.
Opening your doors and windows to breathe in the spring air sounds refreshing, but is it actually a good idea? It depends. First, consider how warm it is outside. If it’s significantly warmer outside than the temperature setting in your home, you could waste a lot of energy by letting the cool air out. Second, how humid is it outside? Your home can quickly feel sticky and damp if too much humid air is coming in through the open windows.
Never fear, though – there are perks to having your windows open. Increased airflow can help to clear out musty air, and even a little air seeping in and out naturally is good. A healthy home is not completely airtight (read more on that topic here). While you’re enjoying the scent of the spring flowers, though, keep in mind that spring blooms are often accompanied by seasonal allergies.
If you or a member of your household suffers from seasonal allergies, you know how uncomfortable and disruptive they can be. Here are some tips to help mitigate the effects of pollen during the spring:
- Use caution when opening your windows (and potentially letting pollen inside).
- Change your air filters frequently, and consider switching to a HEPA filter to help clean out the pollen and other potential irritants that may sneak in.
- Spring clean to reduce the number of allergens in your home (including duct cleaning).
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether opening your windows is worth potentially letting in a little extra pollen.
Breathe Easy with Barineau
Want to keep your home feeling fresh and breezy all year long? Spring into great savings by investing in the Total Comfort Service Program with Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning. A blue membership costs only $20 more than a one-time tune-up. For that small difference in cost, you’ll receive a variety of great benefits, including a discount on repairs and savings on a new system. You’ll also receive priority service; spring is not a high-demand season for HVAC services, making it the perfect time for maintenance. Sign up today and schedule your spring-cleaning HVAC inspection! Your home (and wallet) will thank you.