Have you ever felt when you start your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies often get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to brisk temps affecting our immune systems and from winding up our heating. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Fort Wayne, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the cold temperatures begin and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and move through our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can complete to help your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are better at trapping the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine checkups are another good way to both enhance your house’s air quality and keep your heating performing as smoothly as possible. Prior to flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance checkup to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top working order.
Allergies and continuous illness can be frustrating, and it can be hard to learn what’s creating or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that can help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more regularly than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems can make your allergies not so good, that is only if you avoid suitable upkeep of your system. Other than the things we listed above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning suggestions are:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a typical collector of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your house’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in worsening of 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 Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Usually, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, such as dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating demonstrates how well a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s smart to contact Rolf Griffin Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can operate properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Dirty filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This is also applicable for filthy vents. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial 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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