Have you ever noticed when you run your heat for the first time in the fall, you’re sneezing more often? While spring allergies usually get a more severe reputation, fall allergies are still very typical and many people struggle with them. For some, fall allergies can be even worse than spring due to colder weather weakening our immune systems and from starting up our furnaces. This can leave you wondering, can furnaces make allergies worse in Toronto, or even cause them?
While furnaces can’t cause allergies, they could intensify them. How? During the hotter months, dust, dander and other allergens can build up in heating ducts. When the colder temperatures begin and we turn our furnaces on for the first time, all those allergens are now circulated through the vents and move within our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your furnace from aggravating your allergies.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Affecting Your Allergies
- Replace Your HVAC Filter. Regularly replacing your filters is one of the best tasks you can do to alleviate your allergies at any time of the year. Fresh filters are better at trapping the allergens in your home’s air, helping to keep you healthier.
- Freshen Up Your Air Ducts. Not only do pollutants collect in your HVAC filters, but in your ventilation as well. An air duct cleaning might help minimize allergy symptoms and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. When you schedule an air duct cleaning, repair techs review and clean components including your supply/return ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers.
- Keep Your Furnace in Good Working Condition. Adequate HVAC maintenance and scheduled checkups are another good way to both improve your house’s air quality and keep your furnace running as effectively as possible. Prior to turning your heat on for the first time, it tends to help to have an HVAC tech run through a maintenance checkup to verify your filters and air ducts are clean and everything else is in tip-top condition.
Allergies and frequent illness can be annoying, and it can be tough to discover what’s leading to or triggering them. Here are some common FAQs, along with answers and ideas that could help.
Is Forced Air Detrimental for Allergies?
Allergy sufferers are frequently told that forced air heating might irritate your allergies even more. Forced air systems can circulate allergens through the air, leading you to breathing them in more often than if you used a radiant heating system. While it’s true forced air systems may make your allergies worse, that is only if you ignore proper upkeep of your heating equipment. Other than the tasks we mentioned previously, you can also:
- Dust and vacuum your residence regularly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your air system can’t transport them into the air, and you can’t inhale them. Some extra cleaning tips involve:
- Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
- Dust before vacuuming.
- Clean your curtains routinely, as they are a common harbor of allergens.
- Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
- Watch your home’s moisture levels. Higher humidity levels can also result in 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 better.
What is the Ideal Furnace Filter for Allergies?
Typically, HEPA filters are the best if you or someone in your home 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 demonstrates how successfully a filter can clean pollutants from the air. As a result of their high-efficiency filtration construction, HEPA filters are thick and can reduce airflow. It’s helpful to talk to Service Experts Commercial HVAC to ensure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high efficiency filters.
Can Dusty Filters or Air Ducts Make Me Sick?
Worn filters can trap particles and allow poor quality air to circulate. The same goes for dusty ductwork. If you inhale these particles it can trigger sneezing, coughing or other asthma-related problems, depending on your sensitivity.
It’s beneficial to replace your HVAC filter every 30-60 days, but here are some indications you might need to sooner:
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