Can Your Furnace Make Fall Allergies Worse?
Have you ever felt when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more than usual? While spring allergies often get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to cooler weather weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This could leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Calgary, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other pollutants can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cold conditions arrive and we turn our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and move throughout our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can perform to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when catching the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning may help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs check and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and periodic checkups are another excellent way to both enhance your house’s air quality and keep your furnace working as smoothly as possible. In advance of turning your heating on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.
Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be hard to discover what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems can make your allergies not so good, that is only if you don’t take proper maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the things we mentioned previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home regularly. 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 ideas are:
- Ensure 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 home’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
In general, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your family deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating reveals how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s wise to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to confirm your heating and cooling system can run properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for dirty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to replace your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to more regularly:
- It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your home.
- You notice more dust in your home.
- Heating and cooling bills are rising with no clear reason.
- Your allergies are popping up more often.
- The metal is sitting in dust.
- Dusty supply and return vents.
- Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
- Dust coming from your vents when your HVAC system is starting.
- Your house is often dusty, despite frequent cleaning.
Signs your air ducts need cleaning include:
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