How Your Furnace Can Worsen Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you start your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring colder weather weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This could leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even lead to them? 

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler temps start and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ductwork and travel throughout our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies. 

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are better at snagging the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier. 
  1. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning may help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, our experts review and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers. 
  1. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another great way to both enhance your house’s air quality and keep your system working as smoothly as possible. Before flipping your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good working order. 

Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be difficult to discover what’s leading to or worsening them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that could help.  

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may affect 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 true forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take appropriate maintenance of your furnace. Other than the practices we listed already, you can also: 

  • Dust and vacuum your house regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning ideas involve: 
  • Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. 
  • Dust prior to vacuuming. 
  • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent collecto of allergens. 
  • Make sure to clean behind and under furniture. 
  • Check your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much fresher. 

What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies? 

Generally, 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, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating reveals how thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to make sure your heating and cooling system can work properly with these high efficiency filters. 

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick? 

Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. The same goes for dirty vents. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity. 

It’s smart to replace your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signs you could need to more frequently: 

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your residence. 
  • You notice more dust in your house. 
  • Energy expenses are increasing with no apparent reason. 
  • Your allergies are acting up. 
  • Symptoms your air ducts require 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 coming from your vents when your HVAC system is working. 
  • Your house is frequently dusty, in spite of continuous cleaning. 

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

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