How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies

Have you ever caught when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies often get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to temps affecting our immune systems and from starting up our equipment. This could leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Nashville, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can build up in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures arrive and we flip our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ventilation and move throughout our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

    1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for trapping the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
    1. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do small particles harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning might help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
    1. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Proper HVAC maintenance and periodic service are another excellent way to both strengthen your house’s air quality and keep your system working as effectively as possible. Prior to flipping your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great working order.

Allergies and recurring illness can be discouraging, and it can be tough to learn what’s causing or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, along with answers and tips that could help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are often told that forced air heating might affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more regularly than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems can make your allergies more severe, that is only if you ignore proper care of your furnace. Other than the practices we mentioned previously, you can also:

    • Dust and vacuum your house regularly. 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 additional cleaning suggestions are:
    • Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust prior to vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a common collecto of allergens.
    • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
    • Keep an Eye on your home’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also lead to worsening of allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much better.

H2: What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Generally, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your family deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating illustrates how well a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can limit airflow. It’s helpful to talk to Mid-State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Old filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This also applies to dusty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you could need to more frequently:

    • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your house.
    • You find more dust in your residence.
    • Energy costs are going up with no apparent reason.
    • Your allergies are acting up.
    • Clues your air ducts require cleaning include:
    • The metal is covered in dust.
    • Dusty supply and return vents.
    • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
    • Dust emitting from your vents when your HVAC system is starting.
    • Your home is often dusty, despite frequent cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our top priority at Mid-State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. Whether it’s furnace repair right away.

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