10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Fresh & Clean This Winter
We all know how important spring cleaning is after the long winter, but prepping for the winter is just as valuable. With the windows shut to keep the frigid air out and the warm, dry air in – there’s plenty of room for dust collection and poor air quality from the most unexpected places in your home! Leaving some of these areas unattended could lead to a household catastrophe, including fires, so get ahead of it.
We’ve put together a few simple to follow tips to help keep your home safe, your air clean and your family healthy this winter!
Clean Your Furnace & Change Your Filters: The EPA recommends changing your HVAC filters at least every 3 months to ensure clean air quality. This will also help your wallet, as it will won’t need to work as hard to clear the air. Be sure to clean the furnace itself and vacuum any dust bunnies underneath.
Deep Clean Floors: We all know how destroyed our floors can get here in Chicago during the winter. Dragging in chunks of snow and salt can ruin floors and leave a yucky thin film over your investment, leaving you with too much to clean. You can curb this by deep cleaning your floors at the beginning of the season and maintaining them through regular cleanings. You can do yourself an even bigger favor and create a space next to your doorway to leave shoes and other wet items by the door.
Dust & Wipe Down Surfaces: During the winter, we keep our windows closed and heat cranked – making it perfect for dust to collect everywhere. Dust from top to bottom, including easily forgotten items such as books, ceiling fan blades, tops of window moldings and so on. Wipe down lighting fixtures and windows, as collected dust can diminish light and make it dingy inside. You may even opt for a professional duct cleaning which can drastically reduce dust, germ and allergens, but can also help your furnace run efficiently.
Clean Your Kitchen thoroughly: Ever look up in the kitchen? You might surprised to find grease and stains from all the moisture, fumes and smoke produced by cooking – this goes for the walls around the stove as well.You can mix a small amount of dish soap in a bucket with warm water and scrub gently with a sponge using only a minimal amount of water.
Clean Refrigerator coils: Lower your monthly bill by up to $10 by simply wiping down dirty refrigerator coils. Just unplug your fridge, scoot it out enough to get back there. Use a condenser coil brush or a vacuum with an attachment to get rid of unwanted dust and dirt. You can then use a damp rag to remove remaining debris.
Make Time to Declutter: The most stuff you have hanging around, the more places dust will find a place to collect. Go room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer and parse out what needs to go, what needs to be stored and what needs a better place! A good question to ask yourself is, “have I used this in the last few months?” If the answer is no, then it’s time to let it go.
Empty Dryer Vents: Lint build up can be a huge fire hazard, especially in the dryer winter months. Get rid of any lint that has accumulated over the year by moving the dryer from the wall and disconnecting the pipe. Once everything is disconnected and you’ve got space, clean the outlet hole and pup thoroughly using a vacuum. You can invest in a dryer vent snake to get all the lint possible. Once that’s done, run it to flush out any loose lint.
Steam Clean Upholstery, Furniture & Carpets: Regularly vacuuming your carpets can keep dirt from building up, but this may not always cut it. Think about renting or buying a steam cleaner to freshen your carpets, couches and cushions. If you have pets or kids, think about bringing in a professional for a more intensive deep clean.
Clean the Chimney: Avoid fire hazards this winter by maintaining your chimney. This ensures both safety and air quality. It’s recommended to hire a professional to clean out your chimney.
Flush Out the Drains: Frozen pipes are a huge problem during Chicago’s deep-freeze winters, especially if already clogged. Improperly drained pipes can freeze and burst, leading to expensive repairs. White vinegar or baking soda is a safe way to flush out drains – you can even add a little lemon for sent. Afterwards, use hot water to flush it out.