The universal adoption of central heating is one of the great leaps society has made towards civilization. But while most households rely on these systems to get through winter, there’s plenty to suggest that it might have been a step towards the wrong direction. For individuals with allergies, turning on the furnace often means they can either keep warm or breathe well, but can’t do both simultaneously.
Can Your Furnace Be The Cause of Your Allergies?
A huge problem with winter allergies is that indoor lifestyles could turn even the slightest of symptoms into something worse. During the hotter months, heating ducts will usually accumulate lots of allergens and dust. This is what causes the ‘burnt dust’ smell that most people notice when they turn on their furnaces.
So if your allergies seem to get worse whenever the cold season starts approaching, you can now rest assured that it’s not your imagination. As soon as you turn on your forced air heating system, the inside of your home is flooded with all the dust and dirt that accumulated over the last year. As a result, anyone who spends some time within your house will be exposed to allergies and other respiratory problems.
Although your furnace may contribute to the situation when the air inside your house gets too dry, the biggest problem here is the particulate matter floating around. Because your body is constantly dealing with aerial contaminants, your immune system gets compromised. This makes you more vulnerable to infections like flu and common cold.
What Can You Do?
Allergies are virtually impossible to prevent. If you’re allergic, however, there are several steps you could take to minimize your vulnerability:
- Install air filters to catch the particulate contaminants. Attaching a good HEPA filter can drastically minimize the amount of allergens getting into your home. Also, ensure you change your filters according to the system’s manual.
- Before firing on your furnace, have the ducts cleaned thoroughly.
- Throw out any wallpaper, carpeting and shower curtains that may have mold. Allergy-proof covers should also be used on pillows, comforters and mattresses.
- Whatever else you do, don’t use ozone generators or ionizers. These two tend to irritate the lungs, besides worsening asthma.
Whenever winter is approaching, the first thing most people think about is turning up the heat inside their homes. But as you now know, doing this improperly can bring a host of health issues into your household. So if you haven’t turned your central heating unit on for several months, be sure to have it serviced and cleaned thoroughly well before the onset of winter. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy a warm house without the unpleasant allergies. Ultimately, installing a radiant heating system is something you might want to consider as a long-term solution.