Have you ever felt when you start your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to colder temperatures impairing our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Albany, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures begin and we turn our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and move throughout our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are better at trapping the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, our experts inspect and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another excellent way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your system performing as smoothly as possible. In advance of turning your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent condition.
Allergies and continual illness can be irritating, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s creating or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and suggestions that can 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 carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more frequently than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you put off suitable upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we listed already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house 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 additional cleaning tips are:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a common hiding place 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 supports mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your home deals 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 brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how thoroughly a filter can clean pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s beneficial to touch base with Roland J. Down Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This also applies to dirty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to more regularly:
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