Your Furnace Could Be Making Your Allergies Worse

Have you ever noticed when you turn on your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more than usual? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of colder temps impairing our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This can leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Waldorf, or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other pollutants can accumulate in heating ducts. When the winter temperatures start and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and travel within our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

  1. Change Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can complete to help your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
  2. 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 review and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine service are another excellent way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your heating running as effectively as possible. Before turning your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good condition.

Allergies and continual illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to pinpoint what’s creating or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and suggestions that might help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating can affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more frequently than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore appropriate care of your system. Other than the practices we listed already, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your home frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning suggestions are:
    • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust prior to vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a common collector of allergens.
    • Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much fresher.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

In general, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your household struggles 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 brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s helpful to talk to A-PLUS Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can work right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Dirty filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This also applies to dirty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter every 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 home.
  • You notice more dust in your house.
  • Heating and cooling costs are increasing with no apparent reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Symptoms your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is sitting in dust.
  • Dirty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust coming from your vents when your HVAC system is working.
  • Your home is always dusty, in spite of frequent cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our highest priority at A-PLUS Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair now.

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