Have you ever felt when you start your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies often get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to cooler temps impairing our immune systems and from winding up our heating. This could leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Canada, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other pollutants can collect in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures start and we flip our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and travel within our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can perform to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are ideal for snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning might help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, repair techs check and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine service are another great way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your heating running as smoothly as possible. In advance of switching your furnace on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in excellent working order.
Allergies and continual illness can be irritating, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s creating or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating could affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more often than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you put off suitable care of your system. Other than the tasks we included already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your home often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning tips include:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a common collector of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also lead to aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control 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 household 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 demonstrates how well a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are thick and can restrict airflow. It’s smart to touch base with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can work right with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for filthy ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you could need to sooner:
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