How Your Furnace Can Worsen Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk temperatures weakening our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This can leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Ravenna, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temps begin and we flip our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and travel within our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

  1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at catching the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
  2. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning might help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, repair techs survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another good way to both boost your house’s air quality and keep your heating running as effectively as possible. Prior to turning your heating on for the first time, it can 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 great shape.

Allergies and continual illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to discover what’s creating or aggravating them. Here are some additional FAQs, including answers and tips that can help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating might aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more often than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you avoid appropriate care of your furnace. Other than the practices we included previously, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your home frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t carry 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 regularly, as they are a common collector of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in more severe allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much healthier.

What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Most often, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your household struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating reveals how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s important to touch base with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can operate correctly 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 recirculate. This also applies to dirty vents. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.

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

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You find more dust in your residence.
  • Energy expenses are rising with no apparent reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Clues your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is coated in dust.
  • Dusty 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 starting.
  • Your residence is frequently dusty, regardless of frequent cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our first priority at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Whether it’s furnace repair now.

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