Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies often 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 because of cooler weather affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our furnaces. This may leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Charlotte, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the winter temps begin and we switch our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ductwork and travel through our houses. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can complete to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Dust 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 perform more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, our experts review and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine service are another good way to both improve your house’s air quality and keep your system performing as efficiently as possible. Prior to turning your heating on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC technician perform a maintenance checkup to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great shape.
Allergies and frequent illness can be irritating, and it can be difficult to figure out what’s causing or aggravating them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more often than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you don’t take suitable upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the practices we mentioned above, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some added cleaning ideas include:
- Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent hiding place of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also lead to worsening of 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 fresher.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
In general, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home suffers from 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. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s beneficial to touch base with Komfort Air to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This is also applicable for filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signs you might need to more frequently:
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