Have you ever felt when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, you’re wheezing more often? While spring allergies usually get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and many people are affected by them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to cooler weather affecting our immune systems and from cranking up our furnaces. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Calgary, 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 cold temperatures begin and we switch our heating on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the ventilation and move through our residences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your furnace from irritating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies
- Get a New HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can perform to minimize your allergies at any time of the year. New filters are ideal for trapping the allergens in your residence’s air, helping to keep you breathing easy.
- Dust Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your ductwork as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you call for an air duct cleaning, our experts check and clean components like your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Quality HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another easy way to both improve your house’s air quality and keep your heater working as smoothly as possible. Before flipping your heat on for the first time, it could help to have an HVAC tech complete a maintenance examination to confirm your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in good condition.
Allergies and frequent illness can be discouraging, and it can be tough to pinpoint what’s leading to or aggravating them. Here are some extra FAQs, complete with answers and tips that could help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are usually told that forced air heating might 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 had a radiant heating system. While it’s correct forced air systems may make your allergies more severe, that is only if you put off appropriate maintenance of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we mentioned previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence often. 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 extra cleaning ideas involve:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains regularly, as they are a typical collector of allergens.
- Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
- Keep an Eye on your residence’s moisture levels. High humidity levels can also result in worsening of allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Getting a dehumidifier with your HVAC system keeps moisture levels balanced and your indoor air quality much healthier.
What is the Top Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Generally, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to filter 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 demonstrates how thoroughly a filter can clean pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow. It’s wise to talk to A1 Chesney Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can run properly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Old filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to move throughout your home. This is also applicable for dirty air ducts. If you inhale these particles it can cause sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related issues, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s smart to replace your HVAC filter around 30-60 days, but here are some signs you could need to more frequently:
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