How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies
Have you ever noticed when you start your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies often get a more severe 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 cooler temperatures weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This may leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Birmingham, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they can aggravate them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other allergens can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions arrive and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ductwork and move throughout our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants collect in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs inspect and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine service are another excellent way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your heater performing as efficiently as possible. Prior to flipping your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic perform a maintenance checkup to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working shape.
Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be difficult to discover what’s creating or triggering them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and tips that could help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating might aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more frequently than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you don’t take appropriate upkeep of your system. Other than the things we listed previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house frequently. 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 extra cleaning tips are:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust ahead of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical harbor of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Usually, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your household deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s beneficial to touch base with Norrell Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Dirty filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signals you might need to sooner:
- It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
- You notice more dust in your house.
- Heating and cooling costs are rising with no clear reason.
- Your allergies are acting up.
- The metal is coated in dust.
- Filthy 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 starting.
- Your residence is always dusty, in spite of frequent cleaning.
Symptoms your air ducts need cleaning include:
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