Have you ever noticed when you start your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more often? While spring allergies usually get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of cooler temperatures impairing our immune systems and from winding up our furnaces. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Atlanta, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temps begin and we switch our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and circulate throughout our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for snagging the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles collect in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning may help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs check and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Adequate HVAC maintenance and scheduled tune-ups are another good way to both boost your residence’s air quality and keep your heating running as efficiently as possible. In advance of flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.
Allergies and continuous illness can be annoying, and it can be tough to learn what’s causing or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems might make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore suitable care of your heating equipment. Other than the practices we listed above, 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 circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning ideas include:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your family struggles with 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 kind. This rating demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s wise to touch base with Peachtree Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Dirty filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. 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 smart to swap out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signals you may need to more frequently:
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