Have you ever felt when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to cooler temperatures impairing our immune systems and from winding up our furnaces. This can leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Rochester, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can build up in heating ducts. When the winter temperatures begin and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and circulate throughout our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best things you can complete to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning might help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs inspect and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine service are another great way to both enhance your house’s air quality and keep your heater running as efficiently as possible. Before switching your furnace on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance checkup to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good condition.
Allergies and recurring illness can be frustrating, and it can be hard to figure out what’s leading to or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, along with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating can affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more frequently than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you avoid proper care of your furnace. Other than the things we mentioned above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning suggestions involve:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical harbor of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your house’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with 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 the best if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating demonstrates how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s important to touch base with Strogen's Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for filthy ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signals you could need to sooner:
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