Cleaning house in the fall may seem like a punishment but the rewards can be huge. When you close up the house on cooler nights all the dust, moisture, contaminants and foreign material that comes into the house during the day gets trapped inside and can trigger allergies, eye and skin irritations, and coughing that has no apparent cause.
Indoor environmental quality is vastly improved by following these fall house cleaning tips:
First: Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a new bag and filter and does not spew dust back into the air. Then vacuum drapes, window casements and door casements. If you have textured wall put the soft brush on the vacuum and go over the walls.
Second: Vacuum all the baseboards, the refrigerator coils, upholstery and the tops of high furniture like tall bookcases and the top of the refrigerator.
Third: Vacuum all the carpets and pay special attention to HVAC outlets, the junction of wall and carpet edges and areas under throw rugs. Take HVAC grills out and vacuum down in the ducting as far as you can reach. You may want to have this professionally done to completely clean all the ducting.
Fourth: Take every filter in the house out and clean or replace it. The furnace filters and air conditioner filters are pretty easy but remember the filters in the exhaust fan in the bathroom, the filter in the stove hood, the filter in the air purifier, filters in every thing that has a cooling fan, like the computer, some light applications and appliances.
Fifth: Steam clean upholstery and carpets. Take all the throw rugs to the launder mat and use the triple load front loading machine so they have lots of room to tumble and splash.
Sixth: Wet mop every floor and damp dust every surface.
Seventh: Vacuum the mattresses and pay careful attention to the seams where unwanted pests might hide. Spot clean any accidents on the mattresses with a clean wet soft cloth and baking soda then use a hand held hair blow dryer to dry. Cover your mattresses with a hypo allergenic mattress cover to protect them from you and you from them.
Eighth: Sweep the outside approaches to the entryways with a stiff bristled broom and hot soapy water followed by a thorough rinse. Post a sign at the door. “Please remove your shoes”, then keep a basket of clean knit slippers on a table in the entryway for guests and family.
When you have completed this marathon of cleaning you can close things up for the cold months ahead and sit down with a hot cup of tea and congratulate yourself on a job well done.