How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies

Have you ever noticed when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to weather impairing our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This could leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the colder conditions begin and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and travel throughout our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies

    1. Change Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can complete to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are superior when trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
    1. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Quality HVAC maintenance and regular checkups are another easy way to both boost your home’s air quality and keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible. In advance of switching your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance examination to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent working order.

Allergies and continual illness can be irritating, and it can be tough to pinpoint what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, along with answers and ideas that could help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating could aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you put off appropriate care of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we listed above, you can also:

    • Dust and vacuum your home frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning suggestions include:
    • Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Keep an Eye on your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much better.

H2: What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Typically, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your household 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 illustrates how well a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Old filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for dirty air ducts. 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 after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to sooner:

    • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your house.
    • You notice more dust in your home.
    • Energy expenses are going up with no apparent reason.
    • Your allergies are getting worse.
    • Signs your air ducts need 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 flowing from your vents when your HVAC system is starting.
    • Your house 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 right away.

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