Can Your Furnace Make Fall Allergies Worse?

Have you ever felt when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies seem to 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 brisk weather impairing our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This could leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Charleston, or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other allergens can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions arrive and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and circulate through our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are better at snagging the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
  2. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning might help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and periodic service are another excellent way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your heating performing as smoothly as possible. Prior to flipping your heating on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great condition.

Allergies and continuous illness can be annoying, and it can be hard to discover what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and suggestions that can help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating could aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take suitable care of your furnace. Other than the tasks we listed above, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your home frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning ideas include:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common collector of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Keep an Eye on your house’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity enables 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 Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Usually, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your home suffers from 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 type. This rating demonstrates how well a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s beneficial to touch base with Pardee Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can perform correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Old filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for dusty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

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

  • It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your home.
  • You find more dust in your home.
  • Utility costs are going up with no obvious reason.
  • Your allergies are getting worse.
  • Clues your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is covered in dust.
  • Dusty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust coming from your vents when your HVAC system is running.
  • Your home is frequently dusty, regardless of frequent cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our first priority at Pardee Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair now.

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