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Spring cleaning is a must in many households – opening up the windows, airing out the house, and getting rid of the clutter. This is a good habit to have, however, there are some winter cleaning projects that should also be considered, especially in colder climates such as Chicago. Here are a few projects to undertake this winter.
Replace the Air Filters
In freezing temperatures, most are inclined to stay in and keep warm, meaning the doors and windows are shut up tight. But, this means you’re breathing in stagnant recycled air from your furnace. Replacing your filters is a good way to ensure the air in your home isn’t full of dust particles. In addition to the health aspect, your HVAC system will have an easier time functioning and in turn will last longer.
Empty Your Dryer Vent
You can see the amount of lint that accumulates every time you run the dryer, so imagine how much you have stuck in the vent. A clogged dryer vent can be a dangerous fire hazard, especially in the very dry winter months. It doesn’t take much time to pull your dryer away from the wall, disconnect the tube, and give it a good clean.
Clean Behind the Fridge
Most of us tend to procrastinate when it comes to cleaning out behind the fridge – after all, it isn’t a very fun chore. With that being said, it’s a good idea to do this in winter for two reasons. Firstly, just like your air filters, the coils on your refrigerator collect dust particles that you end up breathing in and secondly, the additional dust particles actually make your fridge work harder and will increase your energy bill.
Clean the Oven
Winter is the perfect time to clean out the oven especially, if you have a self-cleaning one. The self-cleaning method uses very high heat to burn off any leftover food stuck onto the walls, floor, and ceiling of the oven. Not only will you have a clean oven to use to prepare your holiday dinner, but you’ll also have heated the house up nicely.
Since you’re spending more time in your cozy and warm home, take this time to go through your closets, drawers, pantry, and cabinets. Rid yourself of any items you don’t need or haven’t used by separating items into piles – one for toss, one to keep, and one to donate. Once you have whittled down the items you want to keep, get organized by finding each item its own space. One thing you can wait to do until spring is the garage, as it’ll be too cold.
Clean and Protect the Floors
With a Chicago winter comes snow and slush, which is eventually tracked into your home. This can cause some wear and tear on your entryways, whether they are carpet or hardwood. It’s a good idea to double up on your doormats, one for outside the home and one in the foyer. After wiping your shoes, simply remove them at the door. Create an area for your shoes such as a boot tray or shoe rack (it may be a good idea to keep your slippers handy in the same area so your toes stay warm). Make sure to give your floors a good washing if snow or salt are tracked in to avoid build up.
With the arctic temperatures keeping you indoors during the winter months, keeping your home clean and decluttered will make it much more enjoyable. Once they’re all done, you can check them off of your spring-cleaning list and enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.