Have you ever caught when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies usually get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk temps weakening our immune systems and from starting up our equipment. This may leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Fort Lauderdale, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures begin and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the vents and circulate through our houses. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning can help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs review and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and regular tune-ups are another great way to both increase your home’s air quality and keep your system performing as smoothly as possible. Prior to flipping your heat on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top condition.
Allergies and continuous illness can be discouraging, and it can be tough to learn what’s creating or aggravating them. Here are some common FAQs, including answers and suggestions that can help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating can irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you avoid appropriate maintenance of your system. Other than the practices we mentioned previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. 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 extra cleaning tips include:
- Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical harbor of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced 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, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating reveals how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s smart to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure your heating and cooling system can work right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for dusty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you could need to more regularly:
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