Have you ever felt when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies usually get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of cooler temps affecting our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in North America, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the winter conditions hit and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and travel within our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best things you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are better at catching the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles collect in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning might help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another great way to both enhance your residence’s air quality and keep your system performing as smoothly as possible. Prior to switching your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working shape.
Allergies and continuous illness can be irritating, and it can be tough to figure out what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, including answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating can affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid suitable care of your system. Other than the things we listed previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning tips involve:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your house’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your household deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, such as dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating illustrates how thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can limit airflow. It’s beneficial to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to confirm your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This also applies to dirty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signals you may need to more frequently:
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