Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to brisk weather weakening our immune systems and from starting up our heating. This might leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Fort Worth, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t create allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can accumulate in heating ducts. When the cooler temperatures arrive and we turn our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the vents and circulate within our residences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are ideal for catching the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning might help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, our experts survey and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Quality HVAC maintenance and regular tune-ups are another great way to both increase your house’s air quality and keep your furnace running as smoothly as possible. In advance of turning your heating on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC technician complete a maintenance checkup to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good shape.
Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be tough to discover what’s leading to or worsening them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and tips that can help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry 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 may make your allergies more severe, that is only if you avoid proper maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the things we listed already, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning suggestions involve:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust prior to vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your residence’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much better.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Generally, HEPA filters are a strong option 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 demonstrates how successfully a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s wise to touch base with Stark Services to confirm your heating and cooling system can perform correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. This is also applicable for filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to replace your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you may need to more regularly:
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