Can Your Furnace Make Fall Allergies Worse?

Have you ever felt when you turn on your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies seem to get a worse reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of cooler temps affecting our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Livermore, or even lead to them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they can intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other pollutants can accumulate in heating ducts. When the colder temps hit and we switch our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the ductwork and circulate throughout our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your furnace from aggravating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Triggering Your Allergies

  1. Get a New HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can complete to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are superior when catching the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
  2. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants collect in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning could help ease allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs survey and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Adequate HVAC maintenance and routine tune-ups are another easy way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your heating performing as efficiently as possible. Prior to switching your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech perform a maintenance inspection to ensure your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order.

Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be difficult to learn what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some additional FAQs, complete with answers and suggestions that could help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating could irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more frequently than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you avoid suitable upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the practices we listed previously, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your home 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 added cleaning ideas include:
    • Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust in advance of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical hiding place of allergens.
    • Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Check your home’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity enables 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 Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Usually, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to take out 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, like dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how successfully a filter can take pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s smart to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can operate correctly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Clogged filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This also applies to filthy air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s recommended to replace your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signs you may need to more frequently:

  • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You discover more dust in your house.
  • Heating and cooling bills are increasing with no clear reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Symptoms your air ducts could use 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 working.
  • Your home is always dusty, despite constant cleaning.

    Your health and comfort are our highest priority at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Whether it’s furnace repair, maintenance, replacement or you are just seeking advice, our NATE-certified staff are dedicated to you. Plus, all our work is supported by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for the next year. We also include annual membership plans to satisfy your maintenance needs and make your home comfort entirely easy. Call 925-364-5427 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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