Fall is here, summer blooms have faded, the air is crisper and cleaner, the nights are cool, yet you are still sneezing with what seems to be summertime allergies. Fall allergy triggers are different, but they come with just as many symptoms as in spring and summer.
Each fall, as you close up the house, and crank up your thermostat for the first time, your house gets flooded with dust and other throat-clogging gunk. As a result, you and your family start sneezing and coughing. That brings us to: Is your furnace filter clogged and causing allergies?
Heating ducts have an entire summer to accumulate dust and other allergens. When you first fire-up the furnace all of these particles get blown into the air, causing bronchial reactions.
The way to eliminate that is to get your duct work cleaned prior to the first cycle of your heater. It’s true that when they are being cleaned, the air will be filled with the dust and other particles, so we always recommend that you leave the house for several hours during and after the work has been done.
After the ducts are cleaned, it’s important to make sure that your furnace filter is clean. You can choose to use a permanent HEPA filter in your heating system. These filters remove over 90% of all particulate matter. They are much better than disposable filters. Keep in mind, though, it’s important to clean these filters.
Once any furnace filter gets clogged, it restricts air flow, causing the furnace to work less efficiently.
Another strategy to cut down on fall seasonal allergies is to block dust and other allergens at the heating vents. You can do this by fastening a piece of cheesecloth over the duct outlets.
Allergens aren’t the only reason for irritated throats and sinuses during the fall and winter. If you have a forced air system, they typically cause the air to be dry, which leads to parched and irritated mucus membranes.
To avoid this, you can add humidity to the air, but it should be kept moderate. The use of a humidifier can help tremendously if located in a central part of the house. If your home has radiators, you can also place bowls of water on them, and that will help create some moisture throughout the home as well.
Poor air flow can cause other issues besides seasonal allergies. It is always a good habit to have your system inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis. With fall right around the corner, now’s the time to give us a call and get your service scheduled.