Have you ever noticed when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more often? 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 due to cooler temperatures affecting our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This may leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Tulsa, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they can aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler temps begin and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and circulate throughout our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best things you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning might help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Quality HVAC maintenance and scheduled service are another excellent way to both enhance your house’s air quality and keep your furnace running as effectively as possible. In advance of switching your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working condition.
Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be tough to figure out what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that might help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry 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 put off suitable maintenance of your furnace. Other than the tasks we listed above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning suggestions include:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your home’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your home struggles 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 thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can restrict airflow. It’s important to talk to Jack Nelson Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can operate properly 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 also applies to dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some indications you might need to more regularly:
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