Can Your Furnace Make Fall Allergies Worse?

Have you ever felt when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sniffling more often? While spring allergies seem to get a harsher reputation, fall allergies are still very prominent and affect many. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring thanks to brisk temperatures impairing our immune systems and from starting up our equipment. This might leave you considering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Gaithersburg, or even trigger them?

While furnaces can’t lead to allergies, they could aggravate them. How? During the warmer months, dust, dander and other debris can build up in heating ducts. When the cooler temperatures start and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now pushed out of the vents and circulate throughout our residences. Luckily, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from irritating your allergies.

How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Allergies

  1. Change Your HVAC Filter. Frequently replacing your filters is one of the best chores you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at snagging the allergens in your house’s air, helping to keep you in better health.
  2. Clean Your Air Ducts. Not only do particulates harbor in your HVAC filters, but in your air ducts as well. An air duct cleaning can help reduce allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system work more efficiently. When you request an air duct cleaning, technicians survey and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
  3. Keep Your Furnace Well Maintained. Adequate HVAC maintenance and regular service are another easy way to both enhance your home’s air quality and keep your heating performing as efficiently as possible. Prior to turning your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC mechanic complete a maintenance inspection to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in great shape.

Allergies and recurring illness can be discouraging, and it can be tough to discover what’s causing or worsening them. Here are some common FAQs, including answers and suggestions that might help.

Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?

Allergy sufferers are typically told that forced air heating can irritate 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 correct forced air systems might make your allergies worse, that is only if you avoid proper care of your furnace. Other than the practices we listed above, you can also:

  • Dust and vacuum your residence frequently. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to accumulate in your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning tips include:
    • Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
    • Dust ahead of vacuuming.
    • Clean your curtains periodically, as they are a frequent collector of allergens.
    • Don’t forget to clean behind and under furniture.
  • Keep an Eye on your home’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also contribute to aggravating your allergies. Humidity enables mold growth and dust mites. Installing 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?

Most often, HEPA filters are a strong option if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97 to 99.99% of particles, including dust, pollen and dirt. These filters have a MERV rating of 17-21, depending on the type. This rating reveals how thoroughly a filter can take pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration materials, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with Parker Pearce Service Experts to make sure your heating and cooling system can perform right with these high efficiency filters.

Can Clogged Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?

Dirty filters can hold on to particles and allow poor quality air to recirculate. The same goes for dusty vents. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.

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

  • It’s taking more time for your system to cool or heat your residence.
  • You notice more dust in your house.
  • Energy bills are rising with no obvious reason.
  • Your allergies are getting worse.
  • Signs your air ducts require cleaning include:

  • The metal is sitting 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 working.
  • Your home is often dusty, regardless of frequent cleaning.

Your health and comfort are our first priority at Parker Pearce Service Experts. Whether it’s furnace repair right away.

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