Have you ever caught when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more frequently? While spring allergies usually get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk temps affecting our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This might leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in San Antonio, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the winter conditions begin and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and circulate within our houses. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can complete to help your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when catching the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates gather in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning may help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs check and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another easy way to both boost your residence’s air quality and keep your heater running as efficiently as possible. Before flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic complete 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 discouraging, and it can be difficult to figure out what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating could irritate 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 accurate forced air systems may make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid appropriate care of your heating equipment. Other than the things we listed above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence often. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning ideas are:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a typical hiding place of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Generally, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your family deals with 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 kind. This rating demonstrates how well a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s wise to talk to San Antonio Air Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can work properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for filthy ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to replace your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signals you could need to sooner:
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