Before the winter season is in full swing, it’s a good idea to take steps to ensure your home is healthy and in good standing. From decluttering to taking care of various home maintenance, there are a variety of factors that go into preparing your home for winter.
Declutter and Organize
The first step in creating a healthy and happy home during the winter is to declutter and organize your rooms and storage spaces. Decluttering and organizing can give you a sense of relief and allow you to feel more relaxed in your home. If there are items that you can throw away that are either broken or unusable, do so to create more space for other belongings that you use on a daily basis. You could also consider putting items that are in good shape into a storage unit. Look into a public storage unit to keep valuable items in a safe and secure place while freeing up space in your home.
After removing all of your unwanted items, consider taking steps to organize your home. You can start the process by making a list of the rooms you feel need some help in this area. This may include your pantry, refrigerator, garage, basement, or attic. Invest in some storage bins for seasonal use and labels to designate one bin for each room. For seasonal decorations, this can be extremely helpful since you only use those once a year for a short period of time. If you’d like, purchase clear plastic containers so you can see what is inside without having to actually open the bin within your storage space.
Take Care of Maintenance
Plan to take care of home maintenance before the season starts so you can ensure you are keeping yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy during the chilly season. Doing this before the season has fully commenced takes the stress and uncertainty away from whether or not your systems will hold up all season long. These steps will also guarantee that your systems are protected throughout the winter.
Your heating, ventilation, and air condition system (HVAC) is the central structure that keeps your home properly heated and cooled all year round. It is only right that your HVAC system gets the attention it deserves and gets inspected yearly. The cost of an HVAC system can vary depending on the replacement process and upkeep. Some different areas to keep in mind when assessing your HVAC system include:
- Furnace filter. Check and replace your furnace filter if needed. Depending on your filter, you should replace it every 1 to 3 months.
- Air ducts. Clean HVAC air ducts to rid dust mites, bacteria, and debris and to improve circulation. A professional can help you accomplish this.
Before your pipes have a chance to freeze or create a potential homeowner nightmare, consider getting a pipe inspection done. Having your pipes checked can protect your home from a greater mess that could potentially occur during the colder months. Getting your pipes inspected can catch any leaks, lack of insulation, or issues that may be affecting your plumbing system.
While you’re on a roll with your home maintenance updates, take some time to check or replace your refrigerator’s water and ice system. To ensure that you are drinking the best quality water, you should replace your refrigerator filter every 6 months.
It can also be beneficial to go through your home and see if there are any leaks or holes that need to be fixed as well. If you live in an area where you get either a lot of rain or snow, you’ll want to make sure ceiling or pipe leaks are patched to prevent mold from growing in your home. Check for air leaks too to ensure you are keeping the heat in and the cool air out. In the long run, this will save you money on your heating bill!
Since these updates are essential for a healthy home, it’s vital to figure out how you are going to finance these updates. You may find during your inspections that you’ll need to replace your whole HVAC system, roof, pipes, etc., which can be expensive! There are many payment options to choose from, but it’s important to do your research on which one would be the most helpful for you in the long run. Is it worth it to take money from your savings to use on these home projects? Is there a credit option that’s more suitable for your needs? For instance, you could consider a personal line of credit. Whatever decision you make, take the time to plan and organize your finances before making any decisions.
Practice Good Housekeeping
Aside from cleaning out your air ducts and there are a variety of other ways to improve your indoor air quality. Air quality and the cleanliness of your home is an important part of keeping your family healthy during the winter season.
To help your home’s air quality and lessen your chances of getting sick, consider upgrading to a furnace filter with a higher MERV rating or purchasing an air purifier for your home. Certain air purifiers help trap viruses and other antigens. With the dry, cold winter air, it is also a good idea to incorporate humidifiers throughout your home. Having a humidifier will add some moisture into the air to prevent dryness and may ease common cold and flu symptoms.
You can also keep your HVAC fan on. The fan is typically controlled by a thermostat, but you can switch it “on” instead of “auto” so there is air circulating at all times. This is a great trick for when you have visitors in your home. Don’t forget to open your windows every now and then to get some fresh airflow throughout your home. Another way to keep the air in your home fresh is to use some diffusers with natural oils or get indoor plants. Indoor plants allow for natural air purification.
For good housekeeping, strive to clean your home weekly and deep clean it bi-weekly. This could be a lazy Sunday activity or fall on whatever day of the week works best for you. Consistently wash your sheets, clean and fold your laundry, dust, vacuum, Swiffer, mop, and sanitize countertops and other touchable surfaces. Cleaning is a great way to eliminate potential germs that could be around your home.
No matter how you plan to tackle storage, home maintenance, cleaning, and inspections, taking these steps can help to ensure that your home is happy and healthy this winter season.