How to Keep Allergies at Bay When Using Your Furnace

As temperatures plummet during winter, furnaces are essential for providing a cozy and comfortable home environment. They use electricity or fossil fuels to warm the air. Blowers distribute the hot air throughout the living space. Furnaces operate at high-efficiency levels to ensure their heat is consistent and economical.

If you need a new furnace, you should understand how different furnaces work to select the best option for your house. Furnaces that burn natural gas, oil, or propane can emit air pollutants which lead to unwanted health symptoms. While electric furnaces are cleaner and safer, all types of furnaces will pull in dust, dander, or allergens present in the home and circulate them throughout the living space.

This article will provide information on how to keep your furnace from affecting your allergies.

Install New Filters

Indoor air quality is crucial to a healthy home environment, especially for individuals with respiratory issues such as asthma. Modern furnaces have multiple levels of air filtration, ensuring they capture and remove air particulates before they circulate into the home. Furthermore, some models offer high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that capture the tiniest particles for improved indoor air quality. These filters effectively remove pollen, dust mites, and pet dander that circulates in your home when the furnace is operational.

Clean Air Ducts

If you suffer from allergies, you understand how the smallest particles can wreak havoc on your body. It’s not only pollen outdoors that makes you sneeze and cough. Indoor pollutants like pet dander, dust mites, and biological contaminants can trigger allergic responses. The air ducts act as a trap for allergens; these irritants continue circulating if left uncleaned. Remove these hidden pollutants by cleaning your air ducts and ensuring your air is allergen-free. This step ensures your furnace isn’t exacerbating your allergies.

Use an Air Purifier

An air purifier draws in dirty, contaminated air and passes it through a series of filters. As the air passes through these filters, they trap airborne contaminants. The cleaned air is then circulated back into the room. The filters must be cleaned or replaced often for an air purifier to be effective.

Air purifiers come in many shapes and sizes, from small desktop models to large room-sized units. When purchasing an air purifier, look for one with a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) rating. The CADR tells you how effective the unit is at removing airborne particles. The higher the CADR rating, the more efficient the air purifier will be in cleaning your home’s air.

For the cleanest indoor air, we can install whole-home air purification systems. These can eliminate cooking odors, pet odors, tobacco smoke and odors, and chemical vapors. We can also install UV lights in your HVAC system. UV lights can combat airborne viruses and bacteria.

Dust and Vacuum Your House Frequently

If your furnace has been running all winter, it’s likely full of dust and dirt. Regular dusting and vacuuming of your home reduce the number of allergens in the air and helps eliminate allergies caused by your furnace. Allergy-triggering particulates accumulate in carpets, upholstery, draperies, and other soft surfaces. Vacuuming at least once a week and more often in high-traffic areas reduces the amount of airborne allergens and removes dirt and debris that aggravate allergies.

Get a Humidifier

Furnaces dry out the air, causing discomfort and aggravating existing allergies. A humidifier keeps indoor air from becoming too dry, which reduces the risk of coughing, sneezing, dry skin, and respiratory symptoms caused by dry air. Using a humidifier can also help you sleep better. The increased humidity in the air helps reduce snoring and stress and anxiety levels. Some standard features to consider when purchasing a humidifier include the type of filter it uses, its capacity, and the noise levels it produces. Additionally, consider the size of your room to ensure that you choose a humidifier with enough power to provide sufficient humidity in your space.

Different Types of Heating Systems

Furnaces are an essential component of any home’s HVAC system. Several types of furnaces are available, each with unique features and benefits. Our experts can explain the pros and cons of these different types to help you select one most appropriate for your situation.

Natural Gas Furnace

A natural gas furnace is an efficient and cost-effective way to heat your home. This heating system uses natural gas burned in a combustion chamber, creating hot air circulated throughout the house via ducts. Natural gas furnaces are low maintenance and do not require frequent filter changes or repairs. The upfront cost of a natural gas furnace can be higher than other heating systems, but the long-term savings on energy bills make it an attractive option for homeowners.

Oil Burning Unit

Oil furnaces burn fuel oil in an enclosed combustion chamber. These work in a similar manner to natural gas furnaces. The hot air is then pushed out through ducts, warming the rooms in your house. With advanced technology and innovative features, modern oil furnaces deliver excellent performance, less frequent maintenance, and energy savings. Besides, they have a quiet operation, making them the right choice for homes with sleeping babies or light sleepers.

Propane Option

This type of furnace runs on clean-burning fuel, emitting a very small amount of unhealthy fumes into the air. The system burns the propane in an enclosed chamber, then pushes the warm air through ducts to heat the entire home. Propane furnaces are more efficient than electric or natural gas ones, saving you money on energy bills. Schedule regular maintenance with a professional HVAC technician for optimal performance and efficiency.

Electric Furnace

While the electric furnace is not the most efficient heating system, it is the safest. It utilizes electric resistance to generate heat. Electric furnaces are more environmentally friendly than traditional fossil fuel-based heating systems and offer a safer and cleaner alternative. Another advantage is their compact design allows easy installation and maintenance, making them popular for smaller residences and commercial heating applications. Furthermore, electric furnaces are ideal for individuals living in areas with limited or non-existent gas access. The technology behind electric furnaces has evolved, resulting in sophisticated and efficient heating systems offering a cost-effective and reliable solution.

Schedule Regular Heater Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your furnace is essential to ensure it gives you optimal service. Regular maintenance reduces the risk of costly breakdowns and saves you money in the long run by improving energy efficiency. With fuel-burning furnaces, maintenance ensures that it burns cleanly and efficiently to avoid the buildup of harmful emissions.

Our experienced technicians at Lee Thompson Company are trained to detect minor problems before they require costly repairs. During a regular tune-up, our technicians will inspect the furnace for any signs of wear and tear. They will clean or replace dirty filters, check connections for loose wires, and test the safety switch operation. We also offer additional services such as air filter replacement, duct cleaning, and thermostat installation if needed. Contact Lee Thompson Co. today to learn more about our heating and cooling services in Houston.