How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever noticed when you start your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring colder temps weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even trigger them? 

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cold temperatures arrive and we switch our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and move throughout our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening 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 chores you can complete to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at catching the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health. 
  1. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning could help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts inspect and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers. 
  1. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Proper HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another easy way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your heating working as effectively as possible. Before switching your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech complete a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent working order. 

Allergies and recurring illness can be irritating, and it can be hard to learn what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and tips that might help.  

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating could aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you avoid appropriate upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we mentioned already, you can also: 

  • Dust and vacuum your home often. 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 additional cleaning suggestions include: 
  • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter. 
  • Dust in advance of vacuuming. 
  • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common collecto of allergens. 
  • Remember to clean behind and under furniture. 
  • Watch your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much better. 

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies? 

Most often, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your family deals 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 illustrates how well a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s beneficial to talk to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform correctly with these high efficiency filters. 

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick? 

Clogged filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for dirty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity. 

It’s beneficial to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to more regularly: 

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your house. 
  • You notice more dust in your home. 
  • Heating and cooling bills are rising with no clear reason. 
  • Your allergies are acting up. 
  • Clues your air ducts need cleaning include: 
  • The metal is coated in dust. 
  • Dusty supply and return vents. 
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler. 
  • Dust emitting from your vents when your HVAC system is starting. 
  • Your house is often dusty, despite continuous cleaning. 

Your health and comfort are our highest priority at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Whether it’s furnace repair today. 

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