Have you ever noticed when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies often 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 temperatures affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This may leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Hurricane, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they sometimes aggravate them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can accumulate in heating ducts. When the winter conditions hit and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and move through our homes. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can complete to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are superior when trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning may help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and scheduled tune-ups are another easy way to both strengthen your residence’s air quality and keep your furnace running as effectively as possible. In advance of switching your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC tech complete a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great condition.
Allergies and recurring illness can be frustrating, and it can be hard to discover what’s leading to or aggravating them. Here are some additional FAQs, along with answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating can irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more often than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore proper care of your furnace. Other than the things we included previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning suggestions involve:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common collector of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your house’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of allergies. Humidity causes 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 Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Usually, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your family struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating demonstrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with Teays Valley Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can perform correctly 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 circulate. This also applies to dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you might need to more regularly:
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