Have you ever caught when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk temperatures weakening our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This could leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Buffalo, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cooler temps begin and we turn our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the vents and move through our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning can help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts check and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine checkups are another great way to both enhance your house’s air quality and keep your furnace performing as effectively as possible. Before switching your furnace on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top working order.
Allergies and frequent illness can be irritating, and it can be tough to figure out what’s causing or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, along with answers and ideas that can help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating may aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies not so good, that is only if you don’t take appropriate upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we mentioned previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning suggestions involve:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a common hiding place of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity supports 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 Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your household struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 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 demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s helpful to contact Sunbeam Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can perform properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for dusty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to more regularly:
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