Can Your Furnace Worsen Your Fall Allergies?

Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more often? While spring allergies seem to 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 colder temperatures impairing our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This may leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Grand Island, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t create allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler temps arrive and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the vents and circulate within our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for snagging the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
  2. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning might help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs inspect and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine service are another easy way to both strengthen your home’s air quality and keep your heating running as smoothly as possible. Before turning your heat on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance checkup to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top shape.

Allergies and continuous illness can be irritating, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s creating or aggravating them. Here are some additional FAQs, including answers and ideas that can help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating can irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take proper maintenance of your furnace. Other than the tasks we listed already, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your house often. 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 tips involve:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust before vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier.

What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?

In general, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your family deals with 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 kind. This rating demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s wise to touch base with McElroy Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Dirty filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This also applies to filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signals you may need to more frequently:

  • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You discover more dust in your residence.
  • Energy expenses are increasing with no apparent reason.
  • Your allergies are getting worse.
  • Signs your air ducts require cleaning include:

  • The metal is covered in dust.
  • Filthy 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 working.
  • Your home is often dusty, in spite of frequent cleaning.

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

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