While most people think of cleaning as a spring activity, cleaning in preparation for winter is equally important. From ensuring that your chimney and flues are safely maintained and cleaned to remove all of the creeping cruds that builds up in your home over summer, winter cleaning is an important part of maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your family.
The importance of winter cleaning is increased when we understand that this is also a time of a more significant number of infections and sickness within the home.
The removal of dust and pollen, as well as the safety concerns that winter brings, are good reasons to not only clean your home but to complete a thorough check of the many areas and appliances in your home which are neglected during the summer months.
Here are a few of the top tasks to prioritise heading into winter
Weather-proofing Windows and Doors
Winter typically means cold and rainy days and nights'. Now is a good time to clean window and door seals and check them for any signs of perishing that may have occurred during the summer months.
If necessary, consider repainting doors and replacing window seals where they have become perished.
Clean window sills and window gutters to remove dead insects, dust and grime that may have built up. Make a note of any areas where draughts or water can enter the home and consider ways that you can reseal these areas.
Cleaning Carpets and Floors
Because summer means an increase in outdoor activity, it generally also means an increase in the amount of dirt and grime that is brought into the house. Don't wait for spring to clean your carpets. Have your carpet dry cleaned and have floors thoroughly cleaned and polished heading into winter to remove the build-up of parasites and moulds.
Given the additional dampness in winter, mould is a particular problem. These are not always visible, but they are in the air and can contribute to sickness.
If your house was closed up over the summer, it might be advisable to bring in a professional home cleaning service such as Houseproud Cleaning in Sydney to remove the build-up of grime mould off funky and give the entire home a freshen.up.
Humidity during the warmer months can also result in the build-up of moulds and other matter in Bathrooms & laundries. If necessary, now is an excellent time to go over the walls with sugar soap and clean the bath and all of the fittings and fixtures in the bathroom thoroughly.
If you use reversing fans to control airflow and temperature, then remember to turn those fans around or switch them over to reverse so that they can begin to warm up cold rooms. Ensure the fans are correctly wired and if necessary, bring in an electrician. If they were not used during summer, then you should also look at cleaning fan blades.
Cleaning and Preparing Chimneys and Fireplaces
There are still many homes in Australia with fireplaces. The flu needs to be cleaned out thoroughly, and fireplaces brushed and cleaned as well.
For combustion stoves, there are chemical compounds you can buy to help clean out the fireplace. But before you use these, it's advisable to do a thorough scraping and cleaning of the flu to remove the build-up of charcoal and sack that may be sitting in the fireplace over summer.
A steel brush is often all that is needed to clean out flues and the various components of a wood stove. Make sure that the area is kept clear of flammable items.
If you have the tools, then you are probably able to do all the necessary fireplace and combustion stoves maintenance. If not, now is the time to call in the chimney sweep. Don't wait until the middle of winter to find that you have a clogged chimney or damaged stove or combustion heater.
Checking and Maintaining Smoke Detectors
Be sure to check that all of your smoke detectors are in good working order. These are required by law in most homes in Australia and can save lives.
If you do you use open fireplaces, combustion stoves or wood stoves for cooking, now is also an excellent time to check on your fire safety strategy and equipment. These may include fire blankets and extinguishers as well as an evacuation plan for you and your family.
As an adjunct to this maintenance, it's also a good time to check air vents throughout the home to ensure proper circulation of air and to avoid the build-up of gas from gas heaters as well as smoke and Ash from wood stoves.
Testing and Cleaning Heaters and Air Conditioning
Before using your air conditioner for winter or bringing out the heaters for cooler nights have them checked and cleaned to ensure that they are adequately maintained. Now is a good time to check air conditioning filters and ducks and so remove the build-up of Summer grind.
Heaters that have been in storage usually accumulate dust which will be burnt up fill the room with an unpleasant odour. Check that your gas heaters are in good working order and that your electric heaters are clean and bugs eating correctly.
Cleaning Cupboards and Storage Areas
During the summer months, many insects and pests will look for cosy corners to nest and breed. Winter cupboards and winter storage areas are excellent breeding grounds for vermin and household pests. Heading into winter is a great time to go through these lesser-used cupboards and ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned out.
Remove blankets from blanket boxes and give them a good airing. Cleanout boxes and ensure that there is no build-up of vermin or pest within your home. Wardrobes and other storage areas should also be cleaned out floors vacuumed or mopped, and the area completely wiped down and dusted and allowed to aerate and dry.
Maintaining your home heading into winter will ensure a comfortable, healthy and safe home to live in. It can reduce the number of pathogens that might otherwise be spread and also deal with the number of pests and vermin which might otherwise be breathing in your home.
In addition to that, good home maintenance and cleaning during winter will help avoid some of the many hazards involved with heating the home.
Feature image, Pexels, CCO License