Winter cleaning: how to do it properly?

A woman winter cleaning lifts a green blanket over a christmas tree.

Now that a new year is upon us, it’s time to make changes regarding house maintenance. Yes, we’re talking about winter cleaning, one of the most challenging due to the bad weather and freezing conditions. But winter cleaning is necessary if you want to keep your things neat and in good condition during winter because, in this season, appliances and other belongings may be affected by the low temperatures, so you need to take care of them. 

Therefore, you need a plan for winterising your home. It would be best to do this even before the season starts to ensure everything’s in place, but it’s also important to perform this maintenance during colder times. So, prepare yourself with gloves and proper clothing and let’s get to cleaning!

HVAC maintenance 

The first thing to do every winter is to care for your air filters. Although it would be best to clean them professionally, you can also do it yourself. Remember that filters are recommended to be replaced at least every three months to get the most out of them, so you really need them changed in winter. Maintenance also includes:

  • Cleaning the area around the HVAC unit, but make sure you turn off the thermostat and switch off the breaker and fuse beforehand;
  • Cleaning the vents and registers by vacuuming them because otherwise, too much debris can clog your systems;
  • Resetting your thermostat according to your house (if it’s insulated or not) to save money and energy;

Cleaning your HVAC is crucial for ensuring proper airflow because excessive build-up can form quite fast. At the same time, it removes allergens that are known for causing multiple health issues, from simple allergies to asthma

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Reducing clutter 

Regardless of the weather, clutter can be dangerous at any time. That’s because it can affect your concentration and lower your ability to focus, but the mess can also become a hazard in the long run. Inadequate cleaning can attract bugs, which can make your house a health hazard. At the same time, the risk of clutter burning increases when there’s too much of it. 

In winter, reducing clutter is the perfect chance to get rid of things you don’t need. Therefore, try to purchase or build yourself some more storage where you can put your stuff in an organised manner so that you never have to look for objects in piles of things. At the same time, learn to replace older things with new ones because using them for too long might not be efficient anymore. Get new carpets, if necessary, change your window framings, get new flower pots and try to maintain order for the long run. Keeping a clean house can be easy if you’re not hoarding. 

Deep clean the kitchen and bathroom 

The kitchen and bathroom are the places where mould is most expected to form, and that’s because of all the humidity and lack of frequent airiness. So, if you can’t ensure these places are properly ventilated, it’s essential to deep clean them, especially this season, when the condensing impacts the house more than ever.  

Start with your kitchen by organising your pantry. Get rid of any expired foods since they can expose you to dangerous bacteria and toxins that can affect your health (food poisoning). It’s also advisable to throw away any Tupperware or things in poor condition. Try to clean the kitchen with the intent of reducing intense cooking odours. Focus on the bathroom next by applying the same tips and try to keep both rooms as dry as possible because all the humidity will affect the quality of the room’s condition. You could bring some plants in the kitchen and bathroom because they can help eliminate bacteria and absorb extra moisture, so you can get some planters on wheels to move them easily around the rooms. 

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Sweep your chimney 

This should be done by a professional as it is not only risky to do it by yourself, but you may even do it poorly, so it’s best to ask for someone’s help. Sweeping your chimney before winter is essential for minimising the risks of it becoming a fire hazard. Hiring a chimney sweep will help:

  • Protect the exterior of the chimney from water and bad weather;
  • Prevent animals and birds from nesting inside the chimney;
  • Avoid downdrafts and smoky fireplaces;

Usually, it’s not that easy for the chimney to become a fire hazard. However, if you don’t clean it for longer, you might be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. So, it’s best to call for professionals when:

  • You notice smoke entering your home from your wood fire;
  • You smell fumes from your water heater, furnace or boiler;
  • You see loose mortar in your chimney;

Deep-clean hard floors 

Although you may usually clean and mop your floors, they still need deep cleaning from time to time. That’s because dirt can easily build up in time, which cannot be removed by simply mopping with hot water. So, start by vacuuming or sweeping fallen debris in all your room. Next, use a mop or steam cleaner to lift any hidden marks, but make sure to use the appropriate cleaning product to avoid damaging the floor. 

Depending on the type of finishes, you may need to clean differently because:

  • Surface finishes (urethane, polyurethane) require water and water-based cleaning products as they tend to form a waterproof barrier on the surface of the floor;
  • Penetrating finishes (linseed, rung oil soak) need solvent-based cleaning products to clean the wax coat on their surface properly;
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It’s best to be gentle with your floors, even though it seems better to clean them harshly. But remember that not all floors can face the same conditions, and improper cleaning products may damage and shorten their lifespan. 

Bottom line 

Winter cleaning is essential for keeping your house in good condition, as well as maintaining your health. Winter cleaning can be done any time, from the start of the season through it, but it’s important to consider the gravity of the cold weather, cleanse your systems, and take care of any repairs. 

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