Winter months mean more time spent indoors and less time with windows open streaming in fresh air. We will be cozied up in our nice warm homes breathing in potentially dusty air that is of poorer quality than outdoor air. Here are 5 ways you can prepare your home for the next few months so that you can breathe easy.
1 – Change Furnace Filters
Filters are crucial to catching dust and keeping particles out of the air, which in turns helps cut down on dusting your furniture and vacuuming your floors. Choosing the correct filter will improve your air quality and save you money.
Filters are rated from 1-20 on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values) scale—with the better quality filters receiving higher values. Values 3 to 12 are typical for residential buildings; hospitals require 15+.
Contact our Home Services Department for more information on full HVAC cleanings, maintenance, and inspections.
2 – Clean and Dust Everything
In addition to all the normal surfaces you dust—tables, countertops, bookshelves, desks, etc—don’t forget the other horizontal surfaces that accumulate unsightly grime.
- While you’re dusting the bookshelf, don’t forget the tops of the books themselves
- Photo frames and artwork
- Moldings and baseboard trim
- The top of your refrigerator (and anything stored up there)
- Upper kitchen cabinets
- Light fixtures
- Surge protectors, smoke and CO detectors, and thermostats
- The blades of ceiling fans (trust me – you don’t want all that coming back down on you in the Spring!)
Need assistance with your cleaning needs? Our Home Services Program has contractors who offer residential cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery and furniture cleaning.
3 – Vacuum the Overlooked Undersides of Furniture
Even if you are one of those meticulous cleaners who move furniture pieces so you can vacuum underneath them, most people tend to forget the bottom of the pieces themselves. Tilt back upholstered chairs and couches in order to better expose the underside—it might be best to enlist the help of someone for this one. Once tilted, remove any dust bunnies that have nestled in the corners and crevices.
4 – Disinfect Trash Receptacles, Countertops, and Floors
Cleanse your kitchen and bathroom by disinfecting them from top to bottom. Regular bleach is an effective sanitizer (1 cup per gallon of water), but all-natural cleansing solutions are safer and more environmentally safe. Some natural solutions include: vinegar mixed 50/50 with water, lemons and baking soda. For a complete list of all-natural cleansing solutions including their corresponding uses and functions, read this article on RealSimple.com.
Remember: NEVER mix cleaning products because it can result in some potentially toxic fumes. NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH VINEGAR OR AMMONIA. The Washington State Department of Health site has a very informative page detailing the dangers of mixing bleach with cleansers.
5 – Winterize Your Entry
The first line of defense is to ensure your entryway helps guard against contaminating your newly cleansed home. Don’t let family members and guests unwittingly welcome winter’s slush into your safe haven. A few easy additions will keep outdoor dirt and moisture at bay.
- Get a durable outdoor doormat for wiping footwear
- Purchase a boot scraper
- Ready a boot tray to house wet shoes
- Add a chair or bench to easily remove boots