How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever caught when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very common and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to weather affecting our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This may leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures begin and we flip our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and travel through our houses. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies

    1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best things you can complete to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at catching the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
    1. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning may help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and periodic service are another easy way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your heating performing as smoothly as possible. In advance of turning your heating on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance examination to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top working order.

Allergies and frequent illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to pinpoint what’s creating or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and tips that might help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating might irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more often than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid suitable care of your system. Other than the practices we mentioned previously, you can also:

    • Dust and vacuum your house frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning tips are:
    • Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Check your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much better.

H2: What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Typically, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your household deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating reveals how well a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s important to contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to ensure your heating and cooling system can perform correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Old filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for filthy ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s recommended to switch out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some indications you might need to more frequently:

    • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your home.
    • You find more dust in your house.
    • Utility costs are increasing with no clear reason.
    • Your allergies are getting worse.
    • Clues your air ducts require cleaning include:
    • The metal is covered in dust.
    • Dirty supply and return vents.
    • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
    • Dust flowing from your vents when your HVAC system is running.
    • Your residence is frequently dusty, despite frequent cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our first priority at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Whether it’s furnace repair today.

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