Have you ever noticed when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk temps weakening our immune systems and from winding up our furnaces. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Kansas City, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the colder conditions begin and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and travel through our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening 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 things you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are better at trapping the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs survey and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and regular service are another great way to both boost your residence’s air quality and keep your heating performing as effectively as possible. In advance of flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic perform a maintenance checkup to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent shape.
Allergies and frequent illness can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to learn what’s leading to or aggravating them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating might aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more frequently than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore proper upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the things we listed already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house regularly. 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 tips include:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a frequent harbor of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your house’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
In general, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your household deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can limit airflow. It’s beneficial to contact Neal Harris Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can operate correctly 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 recirculate. The same goes for dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signals you might need to more frequently:
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