Can Your Furnace Make Fall Allergies Worse?

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 thanks to brisk weather impairing our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This may leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Fort Worth, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures hit and we flip our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and circulate within our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can complete to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are better at snagging the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
  2. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants gather in your HVAC filters, but in your vents 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 inspect and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine service are another good way to both boost your house’s air quality and keep your heating working as efficiently as possible. Before turning your furnace on for the first time, it can help to have an HVAC mechanic perform a maintenance checkup to verify 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 difficult to pinpoint what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and suggestions that might help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating may affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you avoid proper upkeep of your system. Other than the practices we included already, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your home frequently. 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 routinely, as they are a common collector of allergens.
    • Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Check your house’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also contribute to aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes 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 Best Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Generally, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your home deals with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the kind. This rating reveals how thoroughly a filter can remove pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are dense and can limit airflow. It’s wise to touch base with Calverley Service Experts to ensure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Clogged filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. The same goes 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 smart to switch out your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some indications you might need to more frequently:

  • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You find more dust in your house.
  • Energy expenses are going up with no clear reason.
  • Your allergies are popping up more often.
  • Clues your air ducts need cleaning include:

  • The metal is sitting in dust.
  • Filthy 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 frequently dusty, despite frequent cleaning.

    Your health and comfort are our top priority at Calverley Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair, maintenance, replacement or you are just looking for advice, our NATE-certified technicians are committed to your needs. Plus, all our work is backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for the next year. We also offer recurring membership plans to streamline your maintenance needs and make your home comfort entirely easy. Call 817-380-5647 or schedule an appointment online today.

*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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