Have you ever noticed when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of cooler temperatures affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Orlando, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler temps hit and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and move throughout our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning can help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians check and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and periodic checkups are another good way to both strengthen your house’s air quality and keep your system running as effectively as possible. Before flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good shape.
Allergies and recurring illness can be irritating, and it can be tough to learn what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating can irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more often than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems might make your allergies not so good, that is only if you don’t take suitable care of your system. Other than the practices we included above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home regularly. 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 ideas are:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical hiding place of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your residence’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in more severe allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
In general, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your family struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including 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 remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s wise to talk to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can run right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This is also applicable for dirty 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 after 30-60 days, but here are some signals you could need to more regularly:
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