How Your Furnace Might Be Causing Your Allergies and How You Can Prevent Them

Allergies have various triggers. One of the things that can trigger them is poor air quality at home, which can happen if your furnace is not checked properly.

Your home’s furnace can trigger winter allergies as it causes congestion and makes our nasal passages dry. Also, heating ducts have the whole summer to accumulate dust as well as other allergens. So, once you start turning your heater again on mid to late October, you’ll find yourself coughing and sneezing a lot. When you turn the furnace on again, it doesn’t just circulate warm air throughout the house. It also tends to spew out all the mold, dust, and even some insect parts accumulated in the heating vents. This is particularly the case if you haven’t cleaned your heating ducts for a long time. Another reason your furnace might be causing your allergies is because they produce a byproduct called nitrogen dioxide. Nitrogen dioxide is a form of odorless gas which can cause nose, eyes, and throat irritation as well as breathing shortness.

The good thing is you have lots of ways to do something about it. You can get started with the following steps:

USE ONLY HIGH-QUALITY AIR FILTERS

Your furnace filters must be of top quality. Choose one that can efficiently trap microscopic particles. You should be changing your filters regularly—ideally every 2 months. If not, it will no longer be able to trap particles. This doesn’t only lead to allergy triggers but also hampers your system’s overall efficiency. You can change your air filters by yourself or have a professional help you with it.

CLEAN OFF ANY DEBRIS AROUND YOUR UNITS

Get rid of dust and other airborne particles by dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming the part surrounding the unit. Both your indoor and outdoor units must be cleared of any debris and other unnecessary objects. Focus on dusting and cleaning the vents and the register because these are the parts where most dust accumulates easily.

HAVE REGULAR HVAC MAINTENANCE

Maintain your HVAC well and clean it regularly. This is the basic step to avoid it from spreading allergens around the house. Hire a furnace professional and schedule a regular maintenance to make sure that your system is free from dust that can clog it up and harm you and the unit itself. Taking the time to follow this step can save you from a pack of trouble in the future

Your furnace can actually help you get rid of allergens and not the other way around if you keep it well tuned up. Tuning up your furnace regularly will not only keep you healthy and but also make your furnace system work efficiently, saving you money in the long run. There are also some HVAC systems that can draw air in from the outside to improve ventilation. When the ventilation is improved, mold growth and other indoor pollution sources can be eliminated. Even your allergies can be kept at bay. Furnaces don’t cause allergens if you regularly keep it in check.

Develop Healthy Eating Habits By Taking Small Steps

Changing a lifetime of bad eating habits is very difficult. It is not likely you can go from a diet of fast food, sweets, and soda pop to one consisting of only vegetables, lean meats, and fruit in one day. Developing healthy eating habits takes time, which is why you should take it one small step at a time.

7-Healthty-Habits-Of-Healthy-People

What is Healthy Eating?

Before you can even embark upon changing your eating habits, it is helpful to understand what eating healthy really means. According to basic guidelines, a healthy diet consists of a range of foods from the different food groups. The emphasis of the diet should be to keep calories and fat low while getting a nice variety of nutrients. Whole grains, low-fat foods, lean meats, and vegetables should be staples of the diet. Also, sugar intake should be limited. As you start to make changes to what you eat, you will want to aim for these goals.

Small Steps That Are Easy to Make

In the beginning, it is the smallest steps that will be the easiest to take. You don’t want to cut out an entire food group or give up every comfort food you are used to eating. This will only sabotage your efforts because it is very difficult to stick with. Try beginning with your portion sizes. A good trick is to use smaller plates. This tricks your brain into thinking you are eating much more than you really are. You can still eat whatever foods you normally would, but you’ll be eating less, which means fewer calories and fat.

Another small step is to start cooking food differently. Avoid frying and try grilling, steaming, or baking instead. You’d be amazed at how much fat and how many calories you can lose just by switching cooking methods. Plan out your meals each week so you aren’t tempted to eat out. If you plan, you can make sure that you have enough time and the ingredients you need to make healthy meals at home. Substitute healthier products for the products you use now. There are many good products on the market that use healthier ingredients to produce foods that are high in fat and calories. A good example is Hampton Creek Foods that make healthier alternatives to foods like mayo and cookies.

Take Bigger Steps

Once you have mastered taking small steps, you can then begin to make bigger changes. This means really cutting out foods that aren’t good for you and making your way towards a completely changed diet. The biggest sabotage to healthy eating is drinking the wrong things. You have to stop drinking sweetened beverages. It can be tough to give up soda pop if you are used to drinking it regularly. Not only will you go through a bit of withdrawal from the caffeine but your body also misses that extra sugar. You may want to start by switching to a caffeine free version of your favorite soda. This will help you get past the withdrawal symptoms for caffeine before you tackle the sugar. Then you can start replacing soda with water, which is much better for your body.

Cut down on your meat intake. While meat does offer some health benefits and should be a part of a healthy diet, you really don’t need that much of it. You also should try to cut out red meat, which is very high in fat. Instead, choose fish and chicken without the skin. The best idea is to make vegetarian meals for the majority of the week. Start by substituting one or two meals until you get to five meals a week that are meatless. Start using vegetables in every dish you cook. Vegetables can be added to almost anything, from sauces to baked goods. Adding a handful of veggies to everything you cook will really help you reach the recommended intake and give a healthy boost to every food you eat.

When Eating Out

Eating out is one of the top ways to ruin a healthy diet. However, most restaurants, even fast food, offer some healthy options on their menu. You just have to know how to recognize them and make the right choices.

Don’t order anything fried

Avoid cream-based sauces

Don’t go to an all-you-can-eat buffet

Look for healthy food notations on the menu

Be aware of portion size and take half home if needed

Share a large serving with a friend

Get sauces and dressings on the side so you can add it yourself

Changing your eating habits is something you need to do if you want to be healthier. However, it isn’t always easy. By taking small steps, you will greatly increase the chances of success while also making it much easier on yourself.