Have you ever noticed when you start your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of colder temps affecting our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in San Antonio, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cold temps hit and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and circulate within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning might help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another good way to both boost your residence’s air quality and keep your system working as effectively as possible. In advance of turning your furnace on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great shape.
Allergies and recurring illness can be annoying, and it can be hard 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 typically told that forced air heating may irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take appropriate care of your system. 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 circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning ideas include:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust ahead of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a common collector of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your house’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also lead to aggravating your allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Most often, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 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 brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how well 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 wise to talk to Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This also applies to dusty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to more regularly:
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