Your Furnace May Be Making Your Allergies Worse

Have you ever caught when you run your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing 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 brisk temperatures affecting our immune systems and from winding up our heating. This can leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Jacksonville, or even lead to them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the colder conditions start and we turn our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and circulate through our houses. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies

  1. Change Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
  2. Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants harbor 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 request an air duct cleaning, our experts inspect and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Adequate HVAC maintenance and regular service are another excellent way to both improve your home’s air quality and keep your heating working as smoothly as possible. Prior to flipping your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance checkup to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good working order.

Allergies and continuous illness can be irritating, and it can be tough to figure out what’s leading to or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that could help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating might irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more often than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid appropriate care of your system. Other than the practices we included above, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your house often. 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 extra cleaning tips are:
    • Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust before vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Watch your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also lead to 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 better.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Usually, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your home suffers from 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 brand or filter material. This rating reveals how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s important to touch base with Air Engineers Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can operate right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Old filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This also applies to dirty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s smart to replace your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signs you might need to more frequently:

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your house.
  • You discover more dust in your house.
  • Utility bills are increasing with no obvious reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Clues your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is coated in dust.
  • Dusty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust coming from your vents when your HVAC system is running.
  • Your house is always dusty, despite continuous cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our first priority at Air Engineers Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair now.

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