5 Ways to Kick Start Your Spring Cleaning During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Covid-19 HVAC Maintenance
Don’t you just love spring cleaning! An annual ceremonial deep scrubbing, decluttering, reorganizing, and moving appliances to clean behind all powered by good ol’ fashion muscle. There are plenty of cleaning lists that can be found for download for this labor some yearly event.
This year is quite different as we shelter in place with Covid-19, there is extra motivation to keep your home as clean as possible. With additional time on our hands, and a seemingly larger to Spring cleaning to-do list, we have created five ways to kick your spring cleaning into high gear during the Covid-19 crisis.
Here are five steps to kick start your Covid-19 spring cleaning.
Clean and Disinfect Your Food Storage Areas
Your food storage areas such as pantries and cabinets are areas that see multiple sets of hands several times per day.
Every Spring cleaning to-do list we researched included extensive instruction on cleaning your refrigerator and freezer. Not many listed instructions on your pantry, food storage cabinets, or shelving. The cereal dropped on the floor, baking ingredient dust, or spilled snacks can lead to pests, rodents, or bugs. The increase of airborne debris can tax your air conditioning system and add additional filtrates to your HVAC system filter.
The solution is to remove all the items from your pantry shelves. Discard expired or damaged items. Remove jars and wipe them down to remove any residue or spilled contents on the side of the jar. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down boxes. Starting with the top shelf, wipe down each shelf. Use a vacuum to get corner crumbs and give a thorough deep cleaning. When replacing items, group them by usage and function. Place the most essential food items in the most accessible spot.
Ceiling Fan Blades
Ceiling fans are a great energy-saving addition to any home. They are also an excellent dust-gathering mecca for allergens and pollutants. If you suffer from any respiratory problems, keeping your ceiling fan blades clean is a must. Irritations stemming from ceiling fan dust can be hazardous during a pandemic that involves a virus that flourishes in compromised respiratory systems.
Cleaning your ceiling fan can be made easier with extendable dusters that are specifically made for blade cleaning. These devices are readily available and most home improvement stores and online.
The blade dusters with an extendable handle make this an easy cleaning task. However, we believe that a more efficient and thorough method is cleaning your ceiling fan and blades would be cleaning them manually. Place a drop cloth for any stray dust particles, use a towel to wrap the entire blade to remove a majority of the dust. Then using a mild detergent or household cleaner, deep clean each blade.
Instead, we recommend using the more manual method with a ladder. By using this approach, you can also switch the direction of the fan blades. Grab an old pillowcase and slip it over the blade, capturing a majority of the dust inside the case. Clean the fan housing lightly being careful not to damage any electrical components.
*NOTE: For summer operation, remember to set your ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise for most efficient cooling.
Washing Machine and Laundry/Mud Rooms
Where there is moisture, there is going to be the potential for indoor air pollutants. Mold, mildew, bacteria, and some viruses can rapidly grow in moisture-rich environments. Keeping a device clean that’s sole purpose is to clean is a bit ironic, but it is crucial in keeping your laundry or mudroom contaminants free.
Most washing machines have a sanitize cycle which should be a part of routine maintenance. We recommend running your sanitizing cycles once every few months. In addition, we recommend cleaning under and behind your washing machine removing any debris and dust that can become airborne and enter your air conditioning system. Moisture can accumulate under your appliances as well. Moving them and cleaning thoroughly underneath can remove any mold, mildew, or pathogen growth.
Front loading washing machines need to have the seals checked to make sure they stay clean and dry after every use. We all know that standing water in a closed space will lead to contaminant growth. Keeping your front-loading washer seals dry is easy. After use, keep the door closed.
Most people are unaware that your washing machine has a filter. We recommend that you clean this at least four times a year. Your manufacturer instructions can tell you how to locate, clean, and disinfect your washing machine filter.
Air Conditioning Air Filter
HVAC filters are one of the easiest ways to reduce pathogens in your home. The air in your home circulates at least eight times per day, most homes even more. Dirty filters reduce airflow and the ability to trap dust, debris, and pollutants in the filter and allowing them to circulate throughout your home. When this happens, breathing the air in your home can be eight to ten times more polluted than the outside air.
We recommend using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) air filters for your air conditioning system to remove the maximum number of contaminants. As you do your spring cleaning, you will stir up all kinds of newly airborne particles. Save replacing your air filter as the last step in your home cleaning regime.
Air Purification Systems
Each of us is concerned about coronavirus and COVID-19 at some level. Cleaning with sanitizing wipes or bleach wipes has increased dramatically which is great for hard surface virus elimination. These handy cleaning products do not combat airborne virus particles. A great way to attack airborne pathogens is by using a whole-home air purification system.
An air purification system can prevent sickness, especially during the sneeze-filled cold and flu season, by limiting the number of airborne germs. Testing by the accredited CAS Test Technical Services measured a 99.99% removal rate of the 12 most common viruses and bacteria including swine flu (H1N1), E. coli, and Enterovirus (EV71).
Air Conditioning Maintenance is not Just for Spring Cleaning
Maintaining your HVAC systems is not just an item on your Spring-cleaning checklist. Regularly scheduled air conditioning system maintenance is crucial to protecting your family and visitors. In addition to the added health benefits, air conditioning maintenance allows your HVAC system to run more efficiently which prolongs the life of your systems and reduces energy consumption.
As we each take action to combat Covid-19, keeping your home safe is our top priority. Implementing these techniques can kick start your home to a clean and safe environment to shelter in place.