There’s nothing quite like a warm, cozy evening inside when cold weather arrives. However, that comfort comes at a cost: germs. When we button up the windows and doors against the turning temperatures, there is less airflow. This allows viruses and bacteria to thrive. Each year, an average of 5-20% of the American population gets the flu. Of those, about 200,000 people are hospitalized due to the virus. This year, we are battling the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the regular flu, and experts warn of a winter surge. These three easy steps can help to keep your family safe and healthy at home.
1. Prepare for flu season
The flu season has already started, and health experts say the best way to guard against the virus is to get a flu shot. However, your home could use some preparation, too. You can prevent viruses from spreading in your home by wiping down commonly touched items such as door knobs, phones and remote controls. Next, look at your home room-by-room. In the kitchen, sanitize your cupboards, the refrigerator and the oven. Next, scrub the tub, sink and floors in the bathroom. Last, don’t forget your bedroom. Place blankets and mattresses in the sun for a few hours to air out. While you’re cleaning, pay extra attention to the products you use. Some products smell fresh but aren’t truly disinfecting.
2. Sanitize your garbage cans
Your trash can is an easily neglected area of your home when it comes to sanitizing. This area can be a hotbed for dirt, grime and viruses. Use a 50:50 solution of water to vinegar to quickly wipe out your garbage can, then disinfect the can and the area around it. Use a long-handled scrub brush to clean every inch of the garbage can. If someone in your home gets sick, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated trash can for that person. Use disposable gloves when removing and replacing the lining, and then wash your hands thoroughly.
3. Clean out vents and filters
When we seal our houses against the cold, proper ventilation and filtration through your home’s HVAC system is critical. As air moves through the system, virus particles are reduced. First, make sure your HVAC system is running properly with a clean filter. Sanitize vents and filters. You can do this yourself with a few tools, including a vacuum cleaner, brush, screwdriver and cleaning cloths. If possible, upgrade your filter to the highest grade available. Next, make sure your system’s fan is running. This is how the system filters air, and it can run even when the heat is off. Lastly, an air purifier can help reduce the concentration of airborne viruses.
Spend this winter in your dream home
You can avoid cabin fever this winter by spending the season in a home you love. The experts at First Centennial Mortgage will help you finance your dream home in any climate. Contact First Centennial Mortgage today to speak with a highly trained mortgage professional.