How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies

Have you ever caught when you turn on your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more than usual? While spring allergies often get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to cooler weather weakening our immune systems and from winding up our heating. This could leave you thinking, can furnaces make allergies worse in Kitchener, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they sometimes intensify them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the winter conditions arrive and we turn our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the vents and circulate through our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop 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 tasks you can perform to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are better at trapping the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
  2. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs review 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 periodic service are another excellent way to both increase your home’s air quality and keep your heater working as smoothly as possible. Before flipping your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic 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 annoying, and it can be tough to discover what’s creating or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and ideas that might help.

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating can aggravate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can push allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more regularly than if you owned a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies not so good, that is only if you avoid appropriate care of your system. Other than the tasks we included above, 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 circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning suggestions include:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical hiding place of allergens.
    • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to aggravating your allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels in check and your indoor air quality much fresher.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Most often, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 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 clean pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are deep and can limit airflow. It’s important to contact Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare to make sure your heating and cooling system can work properly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Clogged filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This is also applicable for dirty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.

It’s smart to replace your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some indications you could need to more regularly:

  • It’s taking a longer amount of time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You notice more dust in your house.
  • Energy costs are increasing with no clear reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Symptoms your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is coated in dust.
  • Dusty supply and return vents.
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler.
  • Dust flowing from your vents when your HVAC system is running.
  • Your residence is frequently dusty, regardless of frequent cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our first priority at Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare. Whether it’s furnace repair now.

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