How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk weather impairing our immune systems and from winding up our furnaces. This could leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Medina, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions arrive and we flip our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and move within our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies

  1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for trapping the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
  2. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another great way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your furnace running as effectively as possible. In advance of switching your furnace on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good shape.

Allergies and continuous illness can be annoying, and it can be difficult to figure out what’s creating or triggering them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and suggestions that might help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating might affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more often than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems might make your allergies not so good, that is only if you don’t take appropriate maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we mentioned 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 added cleaning tips involve:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical hiding place of allergens.
    • Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your residence’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much healthier.

What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Generally, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your household deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, such as dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating reveals how thoroughly a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s important to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Old filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for dirty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signals you might need to more frequently:

  • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You come across more dust in your residence.
  • Heating and cooling costs are increasing with no clear reason.
  • Your allergies are popping up more often.
  • Symptoms your air ducts need cleaning include:

  • The metal is sitting in dust.
  • Dirty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust flowing from your vents when your HVAC system is working.
  • Your house is always dusty, despite frequent cleaning.

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

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