How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies

Have you ever noticed when you run your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies usually get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to temps impairing our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cold temps begin and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and travel within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

    1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
    1. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs check and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and regular service are another easy way to both boost your house’s air quality and keep your heater working as efficiently as possible. Before switching your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good shape.

Allergies and continual illness can be annoying, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s leading to or aggravating them. Here are some common FAQs, including answers and tips that might help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating could 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 owned a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take appropriate maintenance of your furnace. Other than the things we listed above, you can also:

    • Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. 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 additional cleaning suggestions involve:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust in advance of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent harbor of allergens.
    • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Check your residence’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much fresher.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Typically, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your household deals 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 well a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s wise to touch base with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to make sure your heating and cooling system can perform right 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. This also applies to dusty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.

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

    • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your house.
    • You notice more dust in your house.
    • Utility expenses are increasing with no apparent reason.
    • Your allergies are popping up more often.
    • Symptoms your air ducts require cleaning include:
    • The metal is sitting in dust.
    • Filthy supply and return vents.
    • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
    • Dust flowing from your vents when your HVAC system is working.
    • Your house is always dusty, regardless of continuous cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our top priority at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Whether it’s furnace repair right away.

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