Have you ever caught when you start your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more than usual? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe 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 colder temps weakening our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This may leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Boise, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they sometimes aggravate them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the cold temps begin and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and travel within our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can complete to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants gather in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning can help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine checkups are another great way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your furnace running as effectively as possible. Before flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top condition.
Allergies and frequent illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to discover what’s causing or aggravating them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating could affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore suitable upkeep of your furnace. Other than the practices we mentioned above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning tips involve:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent harbor of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your home’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also lead to worsening of 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 better.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your family struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 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 kind. This rating illustrates how successfully 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 touch base with TML Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This also applies to dirty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to more frequently:
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