How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies
Have you ever noticed when you start your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe 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 weakening our immune systems and from winding up our heating. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Melbourne, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cooler temps start and we turn our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and move through our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can complete 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.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning may help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another excellent way to both increase your residence’s air quality and keep your heating performing as smoothly as possible. In advance of switching your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance checkup to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working condition.
Allergies and frequent illness can be discouraging, and it can be difficult to learn what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, including answers and suggestions that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating could affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more regularly than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems might make your allergies more severe, that is only if you put off proper upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we mentioned already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence 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:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Most often, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your family suffers from 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 brand or filter material. This rating demonstrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can reduce airflow. It’s beneficial to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for dirty vents. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to replace your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signals you might need to more regularly:
- It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your residence.
- You come across more dust in your home.
- Heating and cooling bills are rising with no apparent reason.
- Your allergies are getting worse.
- The metal is sitting in dust.
- Filthy supply and return vents.
- Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
- Dust emitting from your vents when your HVAC system is working.
- Your residence is often dusty, in spite of constant cleaning.
Signs your air ducts require cleaning include:
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