It’s understandable that you would want to winterize your home in preparation of the cold temperatures that are coming. But when everything is shut up tight during the fall and winter, the air quality in your home can take a turn for the worse! With no fresh air flowing through, pollutants and allergens can quickly accumulate.
Fall is the perfect time to spruce things up around the house so when winter rolls around you’re not stuck in stuffy rooms. Use these 10 tips to get your home clean and healthy before the cold season.
Keep the Windows Open as Much as Possible
If you’re moving to Texas from the northeast you’ll be pleasantly surprised that October is very mild, weather-wise. While it’s still temperate outside, keep your windows and doors open as much as possible. This will help circulate the air and naturally freshen up the whole house.
Get Your Heating System Serviced
Having a professional come out to service your heating system is a good way to safeguard against mid-winter mishaps, and it can also impact your air quality. All equipment that uses combustion, including heating systems, are sources for pollutants. Getting the heating system serviced will make sure everything is working properly and clear out any gunk that may have built up.
Change Your Air Filters
The air filter helps to catch crud that’s circulating through the HVAC system. Install a clean HEPA air filter at the start of the fall season and change it out at least once every two months.
Clean Out the Fireplace
One look at a fireplace that has recently been used will tell you that it’s not the cleanest spot in your home. Fireplaces need to be cleaned regularly to keep soot from circulating in the air and releasing pollutants. The flue should also be checked to make sure it opens and closes properly.
Clean the Upholstery and Curtains
You vacuum your carpet on a regular basis, but what about your furniture and curtains? These fabrics can trap allergens, pollutants, dust mites, and even mold! Before everything is shut up for the winter thoroughly vacuum all of your furniture and put the curtain through the wash.
Keep Pets Groomed
Pets will be spending less time outdoors, which means there will be more animal dander indoors. It’s impossible to completely avoid this combination of hair/feathers and dead skin, but regularly cleaning your home and pets can help minimize the problem. Weekly baths have been shown to help reduce pet dander allergens by as much as 85%. Don’t forget about the pet beds and kennels, which also need regular cleaning to keep pet dander in check.
Invest in an Air Purifier
The EPA recommends using an air purifier as part of a three-pronged approach to improving air quality. An air purifier sucks in the air and traps the particles so they aren’t floating around freely. The one downside is that the air purifier only works in one room, but some models can clean up to 600 square feet!
Get Gas Stoves Geared Up
Gas stoves are another combustion source that emits pollutants. During cooler months stoves are used frequently for cooking warm meals, which releases gasses like nitrogen dioxide into the air. In addition to using the fan hood while cooking, a professional can service the stove to clean the jets and adjust the metering. This will help the gas burn more cleanly.
Use Low VOC Cleaners
Ammonia and chlorine will get things squeaky clean, but they’ll also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the process. There are a number of low and no-VOC cleaners that work just as well without adversely affecting air quality. It’s also best to use fragrance-free liquids rather than sprays.
Evict Dust Mites From the Bedroom
Dust mites aren’t as big of a problem during the summer when the AC is running, because air conditioners remove humidity from the air that the mites thrive on. Declare your bedroom a dust mite-free zone this fall by giving all the bedding a good cleaning with hot water, thoroughly drying everything, vacuuming the mattress and covering it with an impermeable cover.
Need to make a move this fall? Square Cow Movers can handle the moving logistics so you can focus on freshening things up in your new home before winter gets here!