Have you ever noticed when you run your heating for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more frequently? While spring allergies seem to get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring because of brisk temperatures impairing our immune systems and from winding up our equipment. This may leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Oakville, or even lead to them?
While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other pollutants can build up in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures hit and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the vents and circulate through our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from worsening your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when trapping the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants collect in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning may help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians check and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Order. Proper HVAC maintenance and regular service are another easy way to both improve your home’s air quality and keep your heater performing as smoothly as possible. Before turning your furnace on for the first time, it tends to 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 condition.
Allergies and frequent illness can be frustrating, and it can be hard to pinpoint what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, along with answers and tips that might help.
Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating might irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems may make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore suitable upkeep of your furnace. Other than the tasks we included previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your house frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t carry them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning suggestions are:
- Check your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a frequent harbor of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Check your home’s moisture levels. Increased humidity levels can also result in aggravating your allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much fresher.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Generally, HEPA filters are a great fit if you or someone in your home struggles with allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 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 demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. Because of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s important to contact Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare to ensure your heating and cooling system can perform properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dirty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Dirty filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related symptoms, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s recommended to swap out your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some signals you could need to more frequently:
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