Your Furnace Can Be Making Your Allergies More Awful

Have you ever noticed when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of colder temperatures affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our equipment. This could leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Nashville, or even cause them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the cooler temps hit and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and travel within our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

  1. Replace Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are superior when trapping the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
  2. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning can help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, repair techs survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another great way to both improve your house’s air quality and keep your system working as smoothly as possible. Prior to switching your heat on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance checkup to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent working order.

Allergies and continuous illness can be annoying, and it can be tough to learn what’s creating or aggravating them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and ideas that could help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating may aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems may make your allergies worse, that is only if you don’t take proper maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we included previously, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your house often. 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 extra cleaning ideas are:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust in advance of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical collector of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your residence’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to aggravating your allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much fresher.

What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Generally, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your household struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, such as 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 remove pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can reduce airflow. It’s wise to touch base with Donelson Air Service Experts to confirm your heating and cooling system can run right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

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

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

  • It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your house.
  • You find more dust in your residence.
  • Heating and cooling costs are rising with no clear reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Symptoms your air ducts could use 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 starting.
  • Your house is often dusty, in spite of frequent cleaning.

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

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