Have you ever noticed when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more than usual? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to colder temps affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our furnaces. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Miami, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler temperatures hit and we switch our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and circulate within our houses. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants collect in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning may help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, our experts survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and regular checkups are another good way to both increase your home’s air quality and keep your system working as smoothly as possible. In advance of turning your furnace on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC tech complete a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent working order.
Allergies and frequent illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to discover what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that might help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating may irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies not so good, that is only if you don’t take suitable care of your furnace. Other than the tasks we included already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning ideas include:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your residence’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing 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?
Usually, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s important to talk to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure your heating and cooling system can run correctly 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. This is also applicable for filthy vents. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to switch out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to more regularly:
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