How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you turn on your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to temperatures impairing our immune systems and from cranking up our furnaces. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler temperatures hit and we turn our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and move throughout our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

    1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for snagging 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 vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine service are another excellent way to both enhance your residence’s air quality and keep your heater working as efficiently as possible. In advance of switching your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC tech perform a maintenance checkup to ensure 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 difficult to discover what’s causing or aggravating them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that might help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually 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 often than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take proper upkeep of your furnace. Other than the things we included previously, 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 carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning suggestions include:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
    • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Keep an Eye on your home’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much better.

H2: What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Most often, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your household struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s important to touch base with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to ensure your heating and cooling system can run correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Dirty filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. 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 recommended to switch out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signals you may need to sooner:

    • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your home.
    • You find more dust in your house.
    • Energy expenses are rising with no obvious reason.
    • Your allergies are popping up more often.
    • Signs your air ducts could use cleaning include:
    • The metal is covered in dust.
    • Filthy 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 running.
    • Your residence is always dusty, despite frequent 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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