Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more than usual? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to brisk temps affecting our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Longmont, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions start and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and circulate throughout our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to help your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work 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 scheduled checkups are another great way to both boost your residence’s air quality and keep your heating working as efficiently as possible. Prior to turning your heating on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC mechanic perform a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top working order.
Allergies and continual illness can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to discover what’s causing or aggravating them. Here are some common FAQs, including answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently 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 had a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you put off appropriate maintenance of your furnace. Other than the things we mentioned already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence often. 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 extra cleaning tips include:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your home’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating illustrates how thoroughly a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s important to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure your heating and cooling system can work properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This also applies to filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you could need to more frequently:
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