How Your Furnace Can Worsen Your Allergies

Have you ever felt when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies usually get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to brisk weather affecting our immune systems and from winding up our furnaces. This could leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Naples, or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they can aggravate them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other allergens can collect in heating ducts. When the winter temps hit and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and circulate through our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies

  1. Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
  2. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning may help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Proper HVAC maintenance and periodic checkups are another easy way to both boost your house’s air quality and keep your furnace running as smoothly as possible. Before turning your furnace on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance checkup to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent working order.

Allergies and frequent illness can be irritating, and it can be tough to pinpoint what’s creating or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and tips that could help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more frequently than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you ignore appropriate care of your furnace. Other than the tasks we included previously, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your home frequently. 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 added cleaning ideas are:
    • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity enables 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 the best if you or someone in your home deals 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 kind. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s beneficial to touch base with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

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

It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to more frequently:

  • It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your house.
  • You find more dust in your home.
  • Energy expenses are rising 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.
  • Dirty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust emitting from your vents when your HVAC system is starting.
  • Your home is frequently dusty, in spite of frequent cleaning.

    Your health and comfort are our first priority at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Whether it’s furnace repair, maintenance, replacement or you are just looking for advice, our NATE-certified experts are committed to you. Not to mention, all our work is supported by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for the next year. We also offer yearly membership plans to satisfy your maintenance needs and make your home comfort entirely easy. Call 239-908-6991 or schedule an appointment online today.

*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage program agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.
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