Can Your Furnace Worsen Your Fall Allergies?

Have you ever caught when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to brisk weather affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Elkhart, or even lead to them?

While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions hit and we turn our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and circulate throughout our homes. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

  1. 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. Clean filters are better at snagging the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
  2. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians check and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another good way to both boost your residence’s air quality and keep your heating performing as effectively as possible. Prior to switching your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic run through a maintenance examination to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent condition.

Allergies and recurring illness can be annoying, and it can be difficult to learn what’s creating or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that can help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating could affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems can make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore appropriate upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the practices we listed above, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your house frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning tips involve:
    • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical harbor of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your home’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to worsening of 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 better.

What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?

In general, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s helpful to talk to BW/Cook Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Worn filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for dusty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.

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

  • It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your home.
  • You come across more dust in your home.
  • Utility costs are rising with no apparent reason.
  • Your allergies are popping up more often.
  • Symptoms your air ducts require cleaning include:

  • The metal is covered in dust.
  • Dirty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust flowing from your vents when your HVAC system is running.
  • Your home is always dusty, in spite of continuous cleaning.

    Your health and comfort are our first priority at BW/Cook Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair, maintenance, replacement or you are just seeking advice, our NATE-certified experts are committed to your family. Not to mention, all our labor is supported by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for the next year. We also offer yearly membership plans to modernize your maintenance needs and make your home comfort totally simple. Call 574-218-6404 or schedule an appointment online right away.

*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage program agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.
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