Have you ever noticed when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of colder temps impairing our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This may leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Memphis, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions begin and we flip our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and travel within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Replace 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. New filters are better at catching the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Proper HVAC maintenance and regular service are another easy way to both strengthen your residence’s air quality and keep your system performing as efficiently as possible. In advance of turning your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top working order.
Allergies and continual illness can be discouraging, and it can be difficult to figure out what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and tips that might help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating can aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you avoid suitable care of your system. Other than the tasks we listed previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning ideas include:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
In general, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can reduce airflow. It’s wise to talk to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure your heating and cooling system can perform properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This also applies to filthy vents. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to replace your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signs you might need to sooner:
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