Winter season makes us want to curl up by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate; it is the perfect time to enjoy staying indoors and catching up on Netflix with our loved ones. However, the winter season also allows viruses and bacteria to thrive indoors, and our immune systems are already compromised from the cold weather. Do you know every year about 27 million people, which makes up to 8.5% of the population, get affected by the flu in America?
One common mistake we all do is that as the temperature drops, we warm our homes and seal ourselves inside, along with bacteria, contaminants and allergens. Contaminants such as molds and mites thrive in our cozy homes during the winter season as it provides them a comfortable habitat.
Therefore, we’ve prepared some essential tips which will keep the bacteria and viruses out of your home and comfort zone.
Allow a breath of fresh air
The first and most important part of your routine should be to allow fresh air into your house. You can open your windows and doors twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes and let some cool yet fresh breeze into your house. This would prevent the molds and mites from growing and spreading in your house.
Unfortunately, however, even the slightest breakage or damage on your windows can prevent proper circulation of fresh air in your home. You can inspect your windows for any issues, or get in touch with a window company, Kelly Window & Door to replace any broken windows or doors that are interfering with your home’s ventilation.
You should also consider an air purifier in your home, as air purifiers do what filters can’t. While an air filter on your furnace will capture dust, debris, and other small particles, an air purifier equipped with a high-end HEPA filter will eliminate up to 99.99% of micro-pollutants in your home.
Take good care of hygiene
The CDC concludes that some virus-causing bacteria can live up to 48 hours on different surfaces. Therefore, to prevent yourself from catching such virus you should practice extra and good care of your hygiene as cleanliness is the most important factor here.
- Always take your shoes off at the door and spray/clean them with sanitizers or sanitizing wipes.
- Wash your hands after coming from outside every time.
- Wipe your doorknobs, buttons, switches, etc. with sanitizing wipes on a frequent basis.
- Sanitize your cell phone and gadgets as well. As research suggests that cellphones are dirtier than the toilet seat. The reason behind this is that we are always on our cellphones no matter where we are or what we are up to. All kind infectious viruses and bacteria tend to land on our screens at all times. Conclusively, one should wipe their gadgets and cellphones on a frequent basis.
- If your rooms have carpeting then you should wash the sheets with hot water and a disinfectant to kill the bacteria. Also, mop your floors with hot water and disinfectant cleaner for the same reason.
- If you have pets, then you should bathe them on a weekly basis in order to reduce the dander.
- Get your air ducts cleaned by professionals so that you can breathe clean and fresh air.
Use a humidifier
The dry and cold air of the winter season tends to dry out the air. Due to this helpful bacteria from our throat and nose are eliminated as well which makes us more susceptible to viruses. Therefore, adding moisture to the air is a must in this season.
Not only this, but cold and dry air in your house can eliminate valuable and helpful bacteria from the throat and nose. This in turn makes you more vulnerable to flu and other diseases.
You can use a humidifier for this purpose; however, balance is the key so you shouldn’t exaggerate the use of a humidifier as it may result in the growth of molds and mites in your home. The humidity level in the air shouldn’t increase more than 50%.
Avoid painting and deep cleaning in the winter
Using chemical cleaning agents can release chemical fumes which are hazardous to your health. It’s usually recommended that you keep an area well-ventilated while using chemical cleaning products. Even paint from the hardware store can contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can pose short and long term health effects.
During the winter when you’ve sealed up your home against the outside weather, you shouldn’t do any deep cleaning or painting of rooms. Opening the window for an hour isn’t really enough to get rid of the lingering fumes, those projects are best left to spring when you can keep the windows open all day.