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How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you start your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies usually get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring brisk temperatures affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This could leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cold temps begin and we turn our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and circulate within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

    1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can complete to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
    1. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another excellent way to both boost your home’s air quality and keep your heater running as smoothly as possible. In advance of turning your furnace on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic run through a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working condition.

Allergies and frequent illness can be irritating, and it can be difficult to figure out what’s causing or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that can help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating could affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take proper upkeep of your furnace. Other than the practices we listed previously, 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 carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning suggestions are:
    • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical harbor of allergens.
    • Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Watch your house’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Installing 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?

Most often, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your family deals 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 illustrates how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can limit airflow. It’s smart to touch base with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to make sure your heating and cooling system can operate right 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 recirculate. This is also applicable for filthy 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 indications you may need to sooner:

    • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your home.
    • You come across more dust in your home.
    • Utility costs are rising with no apparent reason.
    • Your allergies are acting up.
    • Signs your air ducts could use cleaning include:
    • The metal is covered in dust.
    • Filthy 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 starting.
    • Your home is often dusty, despite constant cleaning.

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

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