How Your Furnace Can Trigger Your Allergies

Have you ever caught when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more than usual? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very common and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to colder temperatures impairing our immune systems and from starting up our equipment. This might leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Denver, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t create allergies, they sometimes make them worse. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the winter temps arrive and we flip our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now distributed through the ductwork and travel throughout our homes. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep 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 things you can complete to help your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are better at snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
  2. Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates gather in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning may help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, technicians review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and periodic service are another great way to both strengthen your home’s air quality and keep your system performing as smoothly as possible. Before switching your heating on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC technician run through a maintenance inspection to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good shape.

Allergies and continuous illness can be discouraging, and it can be hard to discover what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, complete with answers and ideas that could help.

Is Forced Air Harmful for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating can affect your allergies even more. Forced air systems can carry allergens through the air, causing you to breathe them in more frequently than if you had a radiant heating system. While it’s accurate forced air systems may make your allergies not so good, that is only if you ignore proper upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we listed above, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your house frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to collect in your air ducts, your air system can’t circulate them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some additional cleaning tips involve:
    • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
    • Make sure to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also lead to more severe allergies. Humidity causes mold growth and dust mites. Adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system keeps moisture levels under control and your indoor air quality much healthier.

What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?

Most often, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your family 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 illustrates how successfully a filter can clean pollutants from the air. Due to their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are deep and can reduce airflow. It’s beneficial to contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure your heating and cooling system can perform properly with these high efficiency filters.

Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Worn filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. This also applies to 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 replace your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you could need to more frequently:

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You find more dust in your residence.
  • Energy bills are going up with no clear reason.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Symptoms your air ducts could use cleaning include:

  • The metal is sitting in dust.
  • Dirty 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 starting.
  • Your residence is frequently dusty, despite continuous cleaning.

    Your health and comfort are our greatest 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 the job. Not to mention, all our services are supported by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for the next year. We also offer annual membership plans to streamline your maintenance needs and make your home comfort entirely easy. Call 303-647-5853 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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