How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies

Have you ever caught when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies usually get a more severe 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 colder weather impairing our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This might leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Columbus, or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions arrive and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and circulate within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

  1. Change Your 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. Clean filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
  2. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles collect in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, our experts inspect and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Adequate HVAC maintenance and periodic checkups are another great way to both boost your home’s air quality and keep your system performing as smoothly as possible. Prior to switching your furnace on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance examination to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great shape.

Allergies and continuous illness can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to learn what’s causing or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that could help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating can irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more often than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems may make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore suitable upkeep of your system. Other than the tasks we mentioned above, 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 suggestions involve:
    • Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical hiding place of allergens.
    • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also lead to 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 better.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

In general, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 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 demonstrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can reduce airflow. It’s important to touch base with Stevenson Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can run correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Worn filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for filthy vents. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signs you might need to more regularly:

  • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your home.
  • You come across more dust in your residence.
  • Utility expenses are going up with no obvious reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Clues your air ducts require 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 emitting from your vents when your HVAC system is working.
  • Your home is often dusty, regardless of constant cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our highest priority at Stevenson Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair today.

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