Have you ever caught when you start your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more than usual? While spring allergies seem to get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to brisk temps weakening our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This might leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Windsor, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cold temperatures begin and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and circulate through our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning might help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs review and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and regular checkups are another great way to both increase your home’s air quality and keep your heater performing as efficiently as possible. In advance of flipping your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent condition.
Allergies and continual illness can be annoying, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating might irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more regularly than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems can make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore proper upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the things we listed previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning suggestions are:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent harbor of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your home’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 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 well a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can limit airflow. It’s beneficial to touch base with Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This is also applicable for filthy vents. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you might need to more regularly:
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