Winter is around the corner, which means you have to prepare your house where you’ll be cooped up most of the season. It’s time to put on your cleaning gloves and make sure your vacuum is working just right to help you keep things clean for the cold season.
Here’s what to clean before the snow comes and how to keep the rest of your house spick and span.
Cleaning your radiator is essential because it allows proper circulation of heat. If the fins on your radiator are covered in dust, it will not release enough heat to keep a room warm. When this happens, your radiator will work harder to produce heat, resulting in higher energy costs.
Prevent this from happening. Clean your radiator. Pour some vinegar-based cleaner on a damp cloth, but don’t let it soak. Use it to wipe down dust on your radiator. Dry it off completely before turning on the radiator.
The ideal frequency for cleaning air filters in your furnace is once a month. If your filters are clean, that means you have good indoor air quality at home. It also means that your furnace is working efficiently, lowering your energy costs.
To clean your filters, wash them with a household cleaner and water. Use a soft brush to remove dirt. Rinse the filters and let them completely dry before placing them back again in your furnace.
However, you need to clean out your filters twice or more every month if you have allergies. If cleaning doesn’t work and you need a higher quality of indoor air, you need to purchase new ones for your furnace.
There is a level of efficiency that air filters work. According to Consumer Reports, efficiency is rated in three ways: minimum efficiency rating values (MERV), microparticle performance rating (MPR), and filter performance rating (FPR).
ASHRAE (formerly American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) developed MERV, the industry-standard rating system for air filters accepted in the country and abroad. MPR, on the other hand, was developed by 3M. Meanwhile, FPR was developed by Home Depot. While both ratings are accepted, they were created by said companies to promote their products.
The ideal MERV for households is seven to thirteen, MPR is 1,500 to 1,900, and FPR is four to five. In general, the higher the rating, the better a filter is at filtrating mold spores, dirt, dust particles, and pet dander. If you have severe allergies, consider buying filters with a high rating.
Gutters and Roof
Gutters are busiest during autumn. With all the leaves dying and falling, they quickly fill up. If left uncleaned, they could fall off during winter when all the leaves and snow weigh them down. It’s time to clean them up while they’re not complete yet.
To clean gutters and the surrounding area of your roof, use a leaf blower to remove all the leaves. Then, use a gutter scoop to remove any remaining dirt and gunk. Finally, use a water hose to clear the gutter and its downspouts of debris.
Let the leaves accumulate on the grass or ground. Then, use a rake to gather them all up in one area before putting them in a garbage bag or straight to the trash bin. You can also spread a tarp underneath your work area where leaves can fall off. You can gather them up later and clean them before throwing them away.
A fireplace provides warmth for the winter months. It’s best to prepare it before the weather gets cold and everything starts freezing.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America conducts an annual inspection of fireplaces and chimneys. They require homeowners to have their chimney cleaned once a year, too. And it must be done by a certified chimney sweep. Despite this, you still need to regularly clean your fireplace, especially before winter.
To clean your fireplace, get your handheld broom, dustpan, spray bottle, soft brush, and vacuum ready. Set aside some vinegar and water, too.
Before you start, though, make sure your vacuum is working properly. If it lacks suction or the motor seems dead, you should bring it to a certified vacuum cleaner repair shop and have it checked.
Use your brush and dustpan to remove ash. Then, use your vacuum to suck out the remaining particles. Now spray the surrounding bricks, inside and out, with equal parts water and vinegar. Give them a gentle scrub and let them dry.
For the Rest of the House
For the rest of your house, clean the way you usually do. Vacuum the carpet and floors, replace sheets and curtains with winter-ready ones, clean and wash your windows, scrub down the bathroom and kitchen, rake down the yard, and remove clutter from all over your house.
Autumn cleaning can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a headache. The trick to accomplishing all of this is to schedule them one at a time. If your house is clean and ready for winter, it’ll be much cozier to stay in it.