How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to brisk temperatures impairing our immune systems and from cranking up our heating. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Albany, or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions begin and we turn our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and move throughout our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for trapping the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
  2. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles collect in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, our experts survey and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another easy way to both enhance your residence’s air quality and keep your heater performing as efficiently as possible. In advance of turning your furnace on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic perform a maintenance examination to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.

Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s leading to or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and tips that can help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating could aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you put off proper care of your furnace. Other than the things we mentioned above, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your house often. 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 are:
    • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust in advance of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common hiding place of allergens.
    • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much fresher.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Typically, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your home deals 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 demonstrates how successfully a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s important to contact D.A. Bennett Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can run right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. The same goes for dusty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s beneficial to replace your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signals you might need to more regularly:

  • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You find more dust in your home.
  • Heating and cooling expenses are going up with no obvious reason.
  • Your allergies are popping up more often.
  • Signs your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is covered in dust.
  • Dusty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust flowing from your vents when your HVAC system is working.
  • Your house is frequently dusty, despite constant cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our top priority at D.A. Bennett Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair right away.

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