Have you ever caught when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies usually get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to cooler weather weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This might leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Alliance, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other allergens can collect in heating ducts. When the cold temps arrive and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the vents and circulate within our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are better at trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning can help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians inspect and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another good way to both boost your house’s air quality and keep your furnace performing as effectively as possible. In advance of flipping your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech perform a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great condition.
Allergies and continual illness can be discouraging, and it can be tough to discover what’s causing or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, including answers and tips that can help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating might affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies more severe, that is only if you ignore proper upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the things we mentioned already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home often. 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 involve:
- Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your residence’s moisture levels. High 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 in check and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Generally, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating reveals how thoroughly a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s wise to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can operate properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This is also applicable for dirty vents. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to switch out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signals you could need to more regularly:
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