We're all familiar with the expression winterize your cars. And of course, being good stewards of our vehicles, we put them on a schedule to be serviced. This may include flushing the radiator, adding antifreeze, changing the oil and even tuning the engine. Well, I'd like to introduce you to winterizing your home as a major step toward preparing your home interior for the winter.
"Surely you are kidding,” you might say. While we are all more familiar with the reference "Spring Cleaning" as a means to recover from the harsh winter, we probably find the concept of preparing for winter by cleaning a bit novel. Allow Ask Cindy to explain.
Moving forward from the season of Fall and its refreshing air quality, on-going germs and microorganisms come inside to play on interior surfaces. You cannot see these small intruders, but know that they are there…. and while I'm not proclaiming medical authority, I feel safe to say that airborne and surface holders of germs and bacteria lead to colds, sore throats, and sickness, causing time away from work, school, and society. An essential point is that thorough cleaning and sanitizing can reduce the spread of germs and bacteria that have entered into the home. We don’t need to incubate germs, we need to stop them dead!
There are some things that you need to do before winter. This should include a furnace and boiler cleaning and tune up. Especially important is duct & vent cleaning of forced air heating units. For anyone not familiar with the working of a forced air heating system, go to the floor return in a home and spray a substantial amount of disinfectant spray into the return vent. You will find that when the furnace blows warm air into rooms, they will now have the smell of the disinfectant spray. Just as your duct system will carry this disinfectant, it will also carry germs and bacteria that have built up since the home’s last duct cleaning.
Call in the duct cleaning professionals every three - five years.
Duct cleaning is a must and disinfecting the interior of these ducts is critical because of the free flow of particles within this incubating unit. These loose particles are ejected from the heating unit and some are caught inside the return unit’s filter and some are not. These ejected loose particles are not good breathing matter.
So what else must be done to properly winterize your home? Basically, you must do a thorough and attentive house cleaning before closing out the cold winter air flow. Every surface must be touched with a disinfecting solution that is effective, but safe for humans and pets. The accumulation of dust and heating matter that expands and contracts within the home’s temperature controlled atmosphere contributes to the air quality of each room. This activity requires on-going sanitation of hard and soft surfaces. The floors, fabric upholstery, kitchen and bathrooms, and small and large appliances should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, too. Basically, it's not rocket science. Its about living and functioning in a healthy environment with a mindful consciousness.
The great part about winter cleaning a home, aside from the obvious aesthetics, is that you can expect to eliminate many of the germs that carry colds and sickness. Fortunately, there are cleaning products, helpmates, and house cleaning how-to’s that are conducive to healthy home environments.
We're all told to wash our hands regularly during the cold season. Well, the winter cleaning of a home is like putting your home through the gentle cycle of your washing machine.
Effectively, a clean home is a happier and healthier home and it matters!