Can Your Furnace Trigger Fall Allergies?
Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies usually get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to colder temperatures affecting our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This can leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Louisville, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the cold temperatures begin and we switch our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and circulate within our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best things you can complete to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, our experts check and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and periodic tune-ups are another great way to both improve your home’s air quality and keep your heating performing as smoothly as possible. Prior to flipping your heating on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top working order.
Allergies and recurring illness can be irritating, and it can be tough to learn what’s creating or aggravating them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating could irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate 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 can make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore proper upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we included already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. 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 additional cleaning tips involve:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating illustrates how thoroughly a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are deep and can restrict airflow. It’s wise to talk to Becht/Givens Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This also applies to dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you could need to more regularly:
- It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your residence.
- You discover more dust in your residence.
- Heating and cooling costs are increasing with no obvious reason.
- Your allergies are acting up.
- The metal is coated in dust.
- Filthy 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 always dusty, despite frequent cleaning.
Symptoms your air ducts need cleaning include:
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