Have you ever caught when you start your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies often get a worse 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 cooler weather affecting our immune systems and from starting up our equipment. This could leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Tempe, or even trigger them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the cold temps begin and we flip our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and move within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Routinely replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can perform to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- 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 may help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you schedule 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. Proper HVAC maintenance and regular checkups are another great way to both increase your residence’s air quality and keep your furnace performing as effectively as possible. Before turning your furnace on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.
Allergies and frequent illness can be discouraging, and it can be tough to pinpoint what’s leading to or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and ideas that can help.
Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating might aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems can make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore appropriate upkeep of your system. Other than the things we listed previously, 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 carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning tips are:
- Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust in advance of vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a common collector of allergens.
- Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also lead to worsening of allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Generally, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating reveals how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can limit airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with Orangutan Home Services to ensure your heating and cooling system can perform properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can harbor particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. The same goes for dirty vents. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to more frequently:
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