Have you ever felt 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 worse 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 cooler weather affecting our immune systems and from winding up our heating. This can leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Belleville, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler temperatures arrive and we flip our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and travel through our homes. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do 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 in better health.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning might help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Quality HVAC maintenance and periodic service are another easy way to both strengthen your home’s air quality and keep your system working as effectively as possible. In advance of flipping your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance checkup 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 pinpoint what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and tips that could help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating might aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more frequently than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems might make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid suitable maintenance of your furnace. Other than the things we listed already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning suggestions are:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your house’s moisture levels. High 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 in check and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Most often, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your home struggles 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 type. This rating reveals how well a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s smart to talk to D&K Home Services by Enercare to ensure your heating and cooling system can work right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This also applies to filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to more regularly:
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