How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you start your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to temps weakening our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even lead to them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other allergens can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler temperatures arrive and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and move throughout our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

    1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can perform to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for trapping the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
    1. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles collect in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine checkups are another good way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your heating working as smoothly as possible. Before turning your furnace on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance examination to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top condition.

Allergies and recurring illness can be frustrating, and it can be hard to figure out what’s creating or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that might help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more regularly 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 ignore proper maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we included previously, you can also:

    • Dust and vacuum your house frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning suggestions involve:
    • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust in advance of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a typical collecto of allergens.
    • Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Check your home’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.

H2: What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Typically, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your family deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 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 reveals how thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can restrict airflow. It’s wise to talk to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to confirm your heating and cooling system can work right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

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

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

    • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
    • You find more dust in your house.
    • Utility bills are increasing with no clear reason.
    • Your allergies are getting worse.
    • Signs 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 emitting from your vents when your HVAC system is running.
    • Your residence is always dusty, regardless of continuous cleaning.

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

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