Your Furnace Could Be Making Your Allergies Worse
Have you ever caught when you start your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more than usual? While spring allergies often 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 due to cooler temps weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This might leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Waukegan, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures arrive and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and move through our houses. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are better at catching the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles collect in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, our experts review and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Quality HVAC maintenance and regular checkups are another excellent way to both increase your home’s air quality and keep your system working as efficiently as possible. Before turning your furnace on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance checkup to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.
Allergies and recurring illness can be annoying, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s creating or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and suggestions that can help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore suitable maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we listed already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning ideas include:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical collector of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also lead to worsening of allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are the best 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 type. This rating demonstrates how well a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s wise to contact Robinson Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can operate correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter after 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 home.
- You notice more dust in your house.
- Heating and cooling costs are increasing with no apparent reason.
- Your allergies are popping up more often.
- The metal is coated 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 often dusty, in spite of continuous cleaning.
Signs your air ducts could use cleaning include:
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