Have you ever felt when you start your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk weather impairing our immune systems and from winding up our heating. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Fort Myers, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can build up in heating ducts. When the colder temps start and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and move throughout our houses. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can complete to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning can help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and scheduled tune-ups are another easy way to both improve your residence’s air quality and keep your heater performing as effectively as possible. In advance of switching your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic perform a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.
Allergies and continual illness can be irritating, and it can be hard to discover what’s leading to or worsening them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating could irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid appropriate upkeep of your furnace. Other than the tasks we included already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning suggestions are:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust ahead of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a typical harbor of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. Increased 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 balanced and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your home struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 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 reveals how well a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to confirm your heating and cooling system can operate properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for filthy ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to replace your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signs you could need to more regularly:
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