Winter is just around the corner, and that means that it is time to start preparing now for cold and flu season. While the wintry months are full of exciting social events and days spent with family and friends indoors, it also means more opportunities for spreading germs. The cooler air and frosty weather can also lower immune systems and make it harder to kick a nasty cold. Fortunately, you can make this upcoming season your healthiest one ever by implementing the following strategies that will make your home a healthy and cozy winter haven.
A frigid blast of cold air coming through your door and window seams is not only uncomfortable, but it could mean that winter pests have an easy entrance to your home. Rats, cockroaches and other dreaded pests carry bacteria into homes as they seek a warm shelter and food. Inspect the exterior of your home, and seal any small cracks around windows and doors to eliminate pests and improve your heating system’s efficiency.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
While sealing drafts is essential for proper home maintenance, it does create a closed environment where air has less circulation. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Make sure your HVAC system has been inspected and maintained and consider having your ductwork cleaned yearly to eliminate dust and bacteria. Finally, place some pretty plants around your home that can help to improve your indoor air quality while adding a lovely touch to your home décor.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
Few things can beat a warm fire burning in the fireplace on a snowy, winter day; however, a poorly maintained fireplace can contribute to coughs and sneezes by blowing soot and carcinogens into the home. Keep your fireplace burning clean by scheduling an inspection and cleaning before your first fire. Then, you can gather around the fire in comfort while knowing that the ventilation system is keeping your air clean.
Reduce Household Allergens and Germs
With more people spending time in your home, things can get dirty quick. Dust, dirt and invisible germs are often left behind in places you may not suspect. Give handles and door knobs a quick scrub with your favorite antibacterial cleaning solution once a day when someone in the house is ill, and keep hand sanitizer easily available during social events. A thorough rug cleaning can also serve double duty benefits by reducing allergens in the carpet fibers while also washing bacteria away that cannot be removed with just a simple surface sweep.
Stock Up on Seasonal Produce
A healthy home also requires nutritious food to provide the fuel your body needs to fight off germs during the winter months. Take advantage of the season’s bounty by stocking up on winter produce that packs tons of nutrition into delicious meals. Pumpkins, winter squash and beets are all excellent sources of vitamin A, and parsnips and sweet potatoes are chocked full of vitamin C so you can indulge in your favorite winter meals while knowing you are helping everyone to stay healthy.
Encourage Hand Washing
Proper hand washing is essential for removing germs, especially when you are in the height of social season. Encourage your family and house guests to wash their hands frequently by placing scented soap near each sink along with soft, fluffy towels on the towel holders. While you do so, do a quick check for leaks around each sink. If you notice one, have it repaired before mold has a chance to grow.
One of the best things about preparing your home for a healthy winter is that each strategy adds to the comfort of your home. Clean carpets, green plants and draft-free sitting areas make it easy to gather with your loved ones and enjoy the holidays. This year, enjoy welcoming your guests to your door while knowing that you have created a space that encourages health and happiness throughout the winter season.