Have you ever felt when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very common and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of colder temperatures affecting our immune systems and from winding up our furnaces. This might leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Philadelphia, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temps hit and we turn our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and circulate throughout our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best things you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts survey and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another excellent way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your heating running as efficiently as possible. In advance of flipping your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top condition.
Allergies and continual illness can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to figure out what’s creating or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that might help.
Is Forced Air Bad 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, leading you to breathing them in more frequently than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid appropriate care of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we included already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning tips include:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your home’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Most often, HEPA filters are a strong option 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 kind. This rating reveals how thoroughly a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s important to contact Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Dirty filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This is also applicable for dirty vents. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signals you could need to sooner:
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