Have you ever caught when you run your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more than usual? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to cooler weather affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This could leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Savannah, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they can aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other allergens can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temps hit and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the vents and circulate through our homes. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to help your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles collect in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning may help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs review and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and regular tune-ups are another great way to both increase your home’s air quality and keep your heating running as effectively as possible. Prior to switching your heat on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance checkup to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great condition.
Allergies and continuous illness can be discouraging, and it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s creating or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and suggestions that can help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may 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 accurate forced air systems might make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore proper maintenance of your furnace. Other than the tasks we mentioned previously, 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 transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning tips involve:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a typical hiding place of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your residence’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 in check and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Most often, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 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 demonstrates how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can reduce airflow. It’s important to talk to Coastal Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Dirty filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for filthy ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to replace your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some indications you could need to sooner:
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