Have you ever noticed when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to colder temps impairing our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This could leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Austin, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they can aggravate them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temps hit and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and travel throughout our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can complete to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for snagging the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, our experts inspect and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and regular checkups are another excellent way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your system working as effectively as possible. In advance of turning your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech complete a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent working order.
Allergies and recurring illness can be discouraging, and it can be hard to learn what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some extra FAQs, along with answers and suggestions that might help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating might affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more frequently than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems might make your allergies more severe, that is only if you ignore appropriate care of your furnace. Other than the practices we included above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence 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 extra cleaning ideas include:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your residence’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Generally, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your household suffers from 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 type. This rating reveals how well a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are deep and can restrict airflow. It’s beneficial to touch base with Strand Brothers Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for filthy vents. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signals you could need to sooner:
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