Have you ever felt when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to cooler weather affecting our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This can leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Long Island, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other allergens can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler conditions start and we turn our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the vents and circulate throughout our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can complete to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning may 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 Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another easy way to both enhance your house’s air quality and keep your furnace performing as smoothly as possible. Before flipping your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great condition.
Allergies and recurring illness can be frustrating, and it can be tough to figure out what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some additional FAQs, including answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating might aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more frequently than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid appropriate care of your furnace. Other than the tasks we included already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning tips include:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical collector of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also lead to more severe 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 Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Usually, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 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 demonstrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can restrict airflow. It’s important to contact Matz-Rightway to confirm your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This also applies to dusty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can cause 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 signals you may need to more regularly:
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