How Your Furnace Can Worsen Your Allergies

Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more than usual? While spring allergies usually get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring colder temps affecting our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This may leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in the U.S., or even cause them? 

While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they can make them worse. How? During the summer months, dust, dander and other debris can collect in heating ducts. When the winter temps hit and we flip our heat on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and move through our houses. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies. 

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

  1. Change Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best things you can perform to help your allergies at any time of the year. Clean filters are superior when snagging the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you in better health. 
  1. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates collect in your HVAC filters, but in your vents as well. An air duct cleaning could help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, repair techs inspect and clean components such as your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers. 
  1. Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Quality HVAC maintenance and periodic checkups are another good way to both improve your home’s air quality and keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible. Prior to flipping your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC mechanic perform a maintenance examination to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in working working order. 

Allergies and continual illness can be discouraging, and it can be tough to figure out what’s leading to or worsening them. Here are some extra FAQs, including answers and tips that could help.  

Is Forced Air Bad for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating may irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, resulting in you breathing them in more regularly than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems might make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore proper care of your furnace. Other than the practices we included previously, you can also: 

  • Dust and vacuum your house frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning suggestions are: 
  • Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter. 
  • Dust before vacuuming. 
  • Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a frequent collecto of allergens. 
  • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture. 
  • Keep an Eye on your house’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity supports mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier. 

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies? 

Typically, HEPA filters are ideal if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, such as dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the brand or filter material. This rating illustrates how thoroughly a filter can remove pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are thick and can reduce airflow. It’s smart to talk to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to confirm 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 circulate. The same goes for dirty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can produce sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity. 

It’s smart to swap out your HVAC filter after 30-60 days, but here are some signals you might need to more frequently: 

  • It’s taking longer for your system to cool or heat your residence. 
  • You notice more dust in your home. 
  • Heating and cooling bills are going up with no obvious reason. 
  • Your allergies are acting up. 
  • Clues your air ducts could use cleaning include: 
  • The metal is covered in dust. 
  • Filthy supply and return vents. 
  • Mold in your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or air handler. 
  • Dust coming from your vents when your HVAC system is running. 
  • Your residence is often dusty, regardless of frequent cleaning. 

Your health and comfort are our highest priority at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Whether it’s furnace repair now. 

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