How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring colder weather impairing our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This may leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures begin and we switch our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and move through our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

    1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are better at trapping the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
    1. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Proper HVAC maintenance and regular service are another excellent way to both strengthen your home’s air quality and keep your furnace working as effectively as possible. Before turning your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good working order.

Allergies and frequent illness can be irritating, and it can be hard to figure out what’s leading to or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, along with answers and tips that could help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems might make your allergies more severe, that is only if you ignore suitable maintenance of your system. Other than the tasks we listed already, you can also:

    • Dust and vacuum your home frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning suggestions include:
    • Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust before vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common collecto of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Keep an Eye on your house’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much healthier.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

In general, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your household struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can clean pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are deep and can reduce airflow. It’s wise to talk to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to make sure your heating and cooling system can operate properly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Old filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. The same goes for dirty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you might need to sooner:

    • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your home.
    • You notice more dust in your house.
    • Energy costs are going up with no obvious reason.
    • Your allergies are getting worse.
    • Clues your air ducts need cleaning include:
    • The metal is sitting 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 starting.
    • Your house is often dusty, regardless of frequent cleaning.

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

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