Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to colder weather weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our furnaces. This might leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in West Palm Beach, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cooler temps arrive and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and move throughout our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when trapping 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 might help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another good way to both strengthen your residence’s air quality and keep your heater running as smoothly as possible. Prior to flipping your heating on for the first time, it could 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 shape.
Allergies and recurring illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to figure out what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that can help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating can aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore appropriate maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the things we listed above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home often. 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 added cleaning tips involve:
- Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical collector of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your home’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with 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 a great fit if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating illustrates how well a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s beneficial to talk to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This also applies to dirty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to switch out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to sooner:
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