Have you ever caught when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies usually get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to cooler temps impairing our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in La Porte, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the winter temps begin and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and move through our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts inspect and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine service are another great way to both strengthen your house’s air quality and keep your furnace performing as efficiently as possible. Prior to turning your furnace on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great condition.
Allergies and recurring illness can be irritating, and it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s causing or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and ideas that can help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating can aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more regularly than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore suitable care of your system. 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 transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning ideas are:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
- Make sure 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. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 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 reveals how thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can reduce airflow. It’s important to contact Finch Air Conditioning & Heating to make sure your heating and cooling system can operate properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to switch out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signs you might need to more regularly:
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