How Your Furnace Can Spark Your Allergies

Have you ever felt 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 affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to cooler temperatures affecting our immune systems and from starting up our equipment. This could leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Saint Charles, or even lead to them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can accumulate in heating ducts. When the winter conditions begin and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ductwork and travel throughout our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from worsening your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Frequently 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 superior when catching the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
  2. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, our experts inspect and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Proper HVAC maintenance and routine service are another good way to both enhance your residence’s air quality and keep your furnace working as smoothly as possible. Before switching your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top condition.

Allergies and continual illness can be irritating, and it can be hard to discover what’s causing or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, including answers and ideas that could help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating can aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more frequently than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you don’t take appropriate upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the practices we mentioned previously, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your residence regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra 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.
  • Check your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Installing 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 ideal if you or someone in your household struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, such as dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how well a filter can clean pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s smart to contact Golden Seal Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can work right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for filthy vents. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s beneficial to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to sooner:

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your home.
  • You notice more dust in your residence.
  • Utility costs are rising with no apparent reason.
  • Your allergies are popping up more often.
  • Clues your air ducts need cleaning include:

  • The metal is covered in dust.
  • Dirty 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 running.
  • Your residence is often dusty, regardless of frequent cleaning.

    Your health and comfort are our first priority at Golden Seal Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair, maintenance, replacement or you are just seeking advice, our NATE-certified experts are dedicated to the job. Not to mention, all our labor is supported by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for the next year. We also have annual membership plans to streamline your maintenance needs and make your home comfort totally easy. Call 630-246-2698 or schedule an appointment online right away.

*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage program agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.
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