The arrival of the cottonwoods in bloom is a sign that spring has arrived in Anchorage, Alaska. The cotton-like fibers and bright green leaves provide a burst of color to the landscape after a long, dark winter. However, cottonwood season in Alaska can be a tough time for those with allergies. During this season, cottonwood trees release a significant amount of pollen, making it difficult to enjoy the outdoors. However, with some preparation, you can still make the most of the season. Here are some tips to help you prepare for cottonwood season in Alaska and reduce your exposure to pollen:
Keep track of the pollen count.
During the cottonwood season, the trees produce large amounts of seeds that are covered in white, cotton-like fibers. These seeds are dispersed by the wind and can cause allergies for some people. Checking the pollen count regularly is crucial during the cottonwood season. Pollen counts can change day by day, and keeping track of them can help you plan your day accordingly. You can find the pollen forecast on websites like Pollen.com or the Weather Channel. When the count is high, it’s best to stay indoors or plan activities that are less likely to expose you to pollen.
Wear the right gear.
Wearing the right gear can help reduce your exposure to pollen when you’re outside. A mask can filter out pollen and keep you from breathing it in. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from pollen, which can cause irritation and itching. Be sure to pack allergy medication, eye drops, and nasal sprays to help manage allergic reactions.
Plan outdoor activities carefully.
During cottonwood season, planning your outdoor activities carefully can help reduce your exposure to pollen. According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, pollen counts are typically lower in the early morning and late evening. It’s also a good idea to check the pollen count before heading out and plan your activities accordingly. Opting for indoor attractions during high pollen count days can also be helpful.
Keep your home clean.
Although the cottonwoods are an important part of the ecosystem, they can also be messy. The cotton-like fibers can clog gutters and vents, stick to clothing, and accumulate in large piles on the ground. Keeping your home clean is essential during the cottonwood season. Vacuuming regularly and using air purifiers can help reduce pollen levels inside your home. But, did you know that your HVAC system can also help reduce your exposure to pollen indoors, too? HVAC filters can trap pollen particles, improving the air quality inside your home. Consider upgrading your HVAC system or replacing your filters to improve your indoor air quality during the cottonwood season.
Cottonwood season in Alaska can be challenging, but with the right preparation, you can still enjoy the season! Stay ahead of the season by watching the pollen count and keeping your family in the know of the “dos” and “don’ts” are all effective ways to minimize exposure to pollen. Moreover, ensuring that your HVAC system is in good condition and using high-quality filters can significantly reduce your exposure to pollen indoors, improving your overall health and well-being.
At Diamond Heating & AirTemp Alaska we understand what you’re going through. Contact us today to learn how we can assist your home and family during this cottonwood season!