Can Your Furnace Worsen Your Fall Allergies?
Have you ever noticed when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of cooler weather affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Dayton, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the cold conditions arrive and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and move through our homes. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning might help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, our experts check and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Quality HVAC maintenance and scheduled tune-ups are another excellent way to both increase your home’s air quality and keep your heater working as smoothly as possible. Prior to flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech complete a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top shape.
Allergies and frequent illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to figure out what’s causing or aggravating them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and tips that could help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating might affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you avoid appropriate care of your furnace. Other than the practices we mentioned above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning tips include:
- Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a common collector of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Usually, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating demonstrates how well a filter can take pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with Stevenson Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This also applies to 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 swap out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some indications you could need to more regularly:
- It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
- You notice more dust in your home.
- Utility bills are increasing with no apparent reason.
- Your allergies are acting up.
- The metal is covered in dust.
- Dusty supply and return vents.
- Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
- Dust coming from your vents when your HVAC system is running.
- Your house is always dusty, regardless of constant cleaning.
Clues your air ducts could use cleaning include:
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