Have you ever noticed when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent 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 starting up our furnaces. This can leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Gainesville, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler temperatures arrive and we flip our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the vents and travel through our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Replace Your 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 trapping the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation 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, technicians review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Quality HVAC maintenance and periodic tune-ups are another excellent way to both boost your residence’s air quality and keep your furnace performing as effectively as possible. Prior to turning your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance examination to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.
Allergies and recurring illness can be discouraging, and it can be hard to learn what’s creating or triggering them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and tips that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more regularly than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you don’t take proper 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 circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning tips include:
- Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to aggravating your allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Usually, HEPA filters are the best 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 type. This rating demonstrates how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can restrict airflow. It’s helpful to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This also applies to dusty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signals you might need to more frequently:
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