A Wichita Allergy Problem & Your Home AC Solution
Getting Relief from the Kansas Pollen Problem
Updated: March 2022
Allergy problems don’t get much worse than they do here in Wichita. In fact, in the 2022 report by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, Wichita, KS was ranked the SECOND WORST city for allergy sufferers. That’s a jump from placing 3rd in 2021.
The only other Midwest city to make the top ten list for 2022 is Oklahoma City, which ranks 6th worst. Scranton, Pennsylvania tops the list again this year.
It was reported in the Wichita Eagle how incredibly bad it is for allergy sufferers here in the Wichita, Kansas area. Wichita is ranked the 3rd biggest allergy capital. This is according to AAFA, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
What makes Wichita rank high for having an allergy problem? AAFA looked into 3 big factors that relate to causing problems for allergy sufferers. Those factors are our spring and fall pollen scores, how much over-the-counter medicine is used, and the number of allergists on hand to treat allergy problems.
Worst & Best Allergy Cities
The worst city on the list is Scranton, Pennsylvania. Richmond, Virginia came in as the 2nd top city.
If you’re looking to move to a place that won’t be so bad on your allergies, you have to be ready to leave Kansas and the Midwest. Cities in North Carolina, Washington and Utah are your best bet to seek out allergy relief.
From 85th to 3rd: Why Wichita’s Allergy Problems Have Gotten Worse
While any allergy sufferer will tell you that they face problems each year here in Wichita, the problem appears to have gotten drastically much worse. Just last year, in 2020, Wichita was ranked only 85th in the allergy capital list. What shoved us up nearly to the very top is the dramatic increase in use of over-the-counter allergy medications.
But that is not the complete story. AAFA’s process of gathering the medicine data has improved, so the jump may be more an indication of not knowing the true number of medication use over past years.
Home Solution to Alleviating Allergy Symptoms
While allergies are a weather problem, one of the solutions to seeking allergy relief is something that’s right in your home – your heating and cooling system.
Does that surprise you? You’re not alone. There have been a great deal of advancements in the HVAC industry that go beyond just heating and cooling. We provide solutions to a complete home comfort, and that includes your indoor air quality.
The term “air quality” is usually thought to mean the outside air such as pollution or factors that affect our environment. But there has been great work on efforts to specifically improve indoor air quality. After all, we spend most of our time breathing air inside homes and buildings.
Inside your home may be a lot of the common pollutants that have been shown to aggravate allergies. These include pollen, pet dander, mold and dust mites. While these are small particles that you usually don’t spot with the naked eye, they are large enough particles to be filtered out or purified by your home’s system.
3 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
- Upgrade your air filter.
The filters with higher MERV ratings provide more filtration on smaller particles than lower numbers. You always want to go with the type of air filter that is appropriate for your system. And be aware that if you do change to a filter with a higher MERV rating, you can expect it to require you to change it more frequently than your previous filter.
Getting a high MERV filter that is not recommended for your system can actually cause problems in how it works or how efficient it is. Check your system’s manual to be sure you are using an acceptable filter. Or if you have questions on what your system will allow, contact Hanna for help.
- Get an Air Purifier
A centralized purifying device can be attached to your home’s existing heating and cooling system to purify the air that flows through your vents. Hanna installs the Air Scrubber Plus to help Kansas homeowners breathe cleaner air. This device uses NASA technology to purify viruses, bacteria, and other microscopic particles in the air.
- Control Humidity Levels
Dry air can aggravate allergy symptoms. Putting a whole home humidifier in your home give you control over the humidity levels across your entire house. These systems work alongside your existing HVAC system and can be easily installed. Contact Hanna Heating & Air for professional installation of whole-home humidifiers in Wichita, Andover, Newton and surrounding towns.
HVAC Problems that Can Hurt Indoor Air
Your HVAC system can actually contribute negatively to your allergy problem. Mold and mildew can build up on your system or in the ductwork, leaving you to breath it in your air. That is why regular maintenance of your furnace and air conditioner are important to do every year.
If you haven’t had your furnace service or duct work cleaned recently, give Hanna a call. We provide professional maintenance service to handle the needs of your entire system all year round.
Other Ways to Avoid Allergy Problems
Other advice to help you try to cut down on exposure to the pollen or issues that cause you allergy pain include:
- Avoid going outside when the report of the pollen count is high
- Avoid going outside early morning and late evening, when pollen is usually released
- Shower and change your clothes after coming in from the outside
A contributing factor to our allergy problems here in Kansas is the ground-level ozone. High temperatures and high winds can lead to high ozone levels.
The City of Wichita, Kansas keeps track of ozone levels and will issue alerts when the level is getting high. The alerts are to let residents know what actions they take that affect our community’s ozone layer so they can reduce those problematic activities. A lot of the activities include decreasing your use of driving, mowing your lawn, or using products that produce fumes.
Allergies May be Worse in 2021
Wichita’s problem with allergies (and other towns across Kansas) may be even worse this year. If you suffer from allergies every year, you may find yourself having a harder time this season than last. The reason why has a lot to do with COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic shut a lot of people inside over the worst of allergy season. So while all the pollen and other particles were still around to flare up your symptoms, you may have experienced decreased symptoms simply because you were inside most of the time. And other people who may have carried pollen and other allergy particles to you were also less likely to be outside or even around you.
Let Hanna Help You Get Allergy Relief
Call Hanna Heating and Air Conditioning at (316) 945-3481 to learn what options you have to improve the air quality in your home. From air cleaners to filtration systems, you can have your home’s existing duct work greatly reduce tiny particles like dander and pollen.