It may be Pumpkin-Spiced Everything season but not everyone welcomes the changes that come with this transition. Many Americans suffer from fall allergies and these particles entering the home by way of an HVAC system can be a real challenge. Sneezing, headaches, itchy and watery eyes and congestion are among the chief complaints this time of year.
However, the good news is that the condition of your home furnace plays a pivotal role in helping keep allergens at bay. Routine maintenance and furnace repair in northeast Indiana throughout the autumn can help in this way.
Fall Allergies and Your HVAC System
As with the spring, fall is associated with an abundance of seasonal blooms that release pollen into the air. Ragwood, mold spores, pollen and other allergens can irritate allergy sufferers.
What you might not know, however, is that your home furnace has a lot to do with your fall allergies. Dusty or dirty air ducts can spell trouble when it comes to fall allergy symptoms. The furnace generally can trigger the symptoms due to:
● Growth of mold inside the air ducts and moisture from winter air
● Dirty and clogged air filters and compromised air supply inside your home due lack of furnace repair
● Circulation of pollutants inside your home such as pet dander, cigarette smoke, and soot
● Dusty air coming from an attic or basement space as a result of broken or cracked air ducts
How Can an HVAC System Help?
Your HVAC system can act as a frontline defense when it comes to limiting the presence of contaminants in your home. Here are a few ways it can keep you healthy:
Prevention: In addition to keeping your indoor air clean and filtered, an HVAC system can stop mold, pollen and other debris in its tracks.
Control: Even if you don’t have an air filter installed or regularly maintained, your heating and cooling system can still offer some peace of mind. In addition to preventing pollen from entering your home, the humidification effect of most HVAC systems helps keep moisture levels optimal during fall, helping reduce or even eliminate mold growth in damp areas of your house.
Protection: An HVAC system is not a panacea in that it can’t completely protect you from all allergens. Still, the effectiveness of many systems is more than enough to make a difference. Spending time in your home with an HVAC system running will help reduce allergy symptoms and keep your family well.
How to Keep Your Furnace from Worsening Your Fall Allergies?
As mentioned above, you do have some agency when it comes to limiting or preventing these allergens from entering your home. Here are a few ways to do that:
Change the HVAC Filters
Maintaining a consistent schedule of replacing HVAC filters is one of the best things to alleviate your fall allergies. That’s because clean air filters circulate the best air quality and trap allergens so your air stays as clean as possible.
But not just any filter will do. HEPA filters are the best option if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies. That’s because HEPA filters are rated to take out 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 number indicates how well a filter can remove pollutants from the air.
As a result of their high-efficiency filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and can limit airflow. It’s helpful to touch base with our team at JO Mory to ensure your heating and cooling system can work correctly with these high-efficiency filters.
It’s important to note that most filters need to be cleaned or replaced every two to three months, but they should definitely be changed before turning on your furnace for the winter. If you live in an area with a lot of pollution or pollen or live in a home with pets or smokers, a monthly schedule might be best.
Freshen Up Your Air Ducts
Your vents are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to helping keep allergens out of your home. This maintenance work can help reduce allergy symptoms and boost your HVAC system’s performance year-round.
Keep Your Furnace in Working Condition
Routine maintenance tune-up and furnace repair are prudent because it bodes well for your HVAC system’s health and can boost indoor air quality. It can also benefit your system’s lifespan.
Now’s the time to think about this important task. Before the winter hits, it’s a good idea to bring in an HVAC mechanic to complete maintenance and conduct a thorough inspection of her furnace to ensure that the air ducts and the air filters are in good condition. If your furnace has any broken parts or components, furnace repair can restore the system’s integrity. A trusted member of our team can also advise on whether it makes sense to replace it.
Stay on Top of Cleaning
Dust and vacuum your home at least weekly. If there aren’t dust, dander or mold spore particles to clog your air ducts, your system doesn’t have to filter them out and it’s easier to maintain air quality. Some other helpful cleaning tips to keep in mind include:
● Confirm your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
● Dust prior to vacuuming.
● Clean your curtains regularly
● Remember to clean behind and under furniture.
Monitor Moisture Levels
Increased humidity levels can also contribute to more severe allergies. Humidity fuels mold growth and dust mites. Installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system can help keep moisture in check and your indoor air quality much better.
Call in the Experts
Fall allergies can be annoying at best. It can be hard to figure out the cause and the solutions. You might find answers are close within reach than you thought. It all starts with being proactive. To get a deeper look into how your HVAC unit is performing, reach out to us for a fall tune-up— your health just might depend on it!