Have you ever caught when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies often get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of colder weather weakening our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Kingston, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the winter conditions start and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ventilation and travel within our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best things you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are better at snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work 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 in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and scheduled service are another easy way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your system performing as effectively as possible. In advance of switching your furnace on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great working order.
Allergies and frequent illness can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to discover what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and ideas that can help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating can aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more frequently than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems might make your allergies more severe, that is only if you put off appropriate care of your furnace. Other than the practices 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 include:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
In general, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can clean pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can restrict airflow. It’s wise to talk to Kingston Home Services by Enercare to ensure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Dirty filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for dirty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to replace your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to more frequently:
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