Your Furnace Might Be Making Your Allergies More Severe

Have you ever caught when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of cooler temperatures affecting our immune systems and from starting up our equipment. This may leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Wheeling, or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the winter conditions arrive and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ductwork and travel within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
  2. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs inspect and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another excellent way to both increase your residence’s air quality and keep your heating working as efficiently as possible. Prior to turning your heat on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance examination to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great working order.

Allergies and frequent illness can be irritating, and it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s leading to or worsening them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and tips that might help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually 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 had a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies more severe, that is only if you don’t take proper care of your furnace. Other than the practices we listed above, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. 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 extra cleaning ideas involve:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust before vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your house’s moisture levels. Higher 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 Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Most often, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 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 brand or filter material. This rating demonstrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s wise to touch base with Comfort Masters Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

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

It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to sooner:

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your house.
  • You discover more dust in your residence.
  • Heating and cooling costs are increasing with no apparent reason.
  • Your allergies are getting worse.
  • Clues your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is coated in dust.
  • Filthy 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 working.
  • Your residence is frequently dusty, regardless of constant cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our top priority at Comfort Masters Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair now.

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