Your Furnace Could Be Making Your Allergies More Severe
Have you ever noticed when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more than usual? While spring allergies seem to 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 because of cooler temps impairing our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This could leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Columbia, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes aggravate them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other pollutants can accumulate in heating ducts. When the colder conditions start and we flip our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and move through our homes. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can do to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants collect in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning may help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Proper HVAC maintenance and regular tune-ups are another easy way to both strengthen your house’s air quality and keep your heating performing as smoothly as possible. Before switching your furnace on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance examination to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great shape.
Allergies and continual illness can be annoying, and it can be tough to discover what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating can 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 owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you avoid appropriate maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we included previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home frequently. 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 extra cleaning suggestions include:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a common hiding place of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your residence’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with 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 the best if you or someone in your home suffers from 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 successfully a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are thick and can restrict airflow. It’s wise to talk to Midland Air Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can operate properly 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 move throughout your home. This is also applicable for filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to replace your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some indications you could need to sooner:
- It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your home.
- You find more dust in your house.
- Utility expenses are increasing with no obvious reason.
- Your allergies are acting up.
- 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 running.
- Your home is always dusty, in spite of constant cleaning.
Signs your air ducts require cleaning include:
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