During warmer months it’s easy to open up the windows and allow fresh air to flow through the home, taking stuffy air filled with dust and other contaminants along with it. However, during the colder months we’re trapped inside with a wide variety of allergens, bacteria and viruses floating all around out homes; it’s no wonder why winter is the most common time of the year to be sick!

While we may not be able to prevent every illness, there are many steps we can take to prevent illness and make our homes healthier during these cold winter months.

  1. Replace/Clean Your Filters

    This goes for anything in your home that contains a filter, whether that be a furnace or vacuum. It’s especially important for individuals whose home utilize a forced air system, as the air is continuously recycled and sent through different areas of the homes. It’s a very easy way for contaminants to spread, so make certain you change or wash yours as designated by your filter type!

  2. Add Some Humidity

    Many modern HVAC systems are now being equipped with humidifiers that automatically maintain a consistent humidity level in the home. This helps to control mold and fungal spore growth as well as keeping your respiratory track healthier and more resistant to bacterial infections.

    If your home is not pre-equipped with a system, consider simple options such as a humidifier (warm or cool mist depending on need and preference), a steamy shower, boiling water on the stove, adding house plants or even air-drying clothing on a rack.

  3. Disinfect Overlooked Objects

    We all may take extra care to wipe down our counters and bathroom surfaces on a consistent basis, but there’s many other surfaces that are touched constantly that we often forget about.

    Locations in the house that should be washed at least once a week include doorknobs, stair banisters, remote controllers, cell phones, toilet handles, cabinet handles, and appliance handles.

  4. Wash Toys

    For larger items, simply wipe them down with disinfecting wipes or your cleaner of choice. Smaller items should be placed in a large basin filled with a ½ Cup Bleach and 1 Cup water solution for five minutes, then rinsed. For more durable smaller toys simply toss them in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning!

  5. Disinfect Mops & Sponges

    Sponges and mops are havens for bacterial growth yet they are surprisingly overlooked as items that need to be cleaned consistently. Using these items more than once or twice simple leads to spreading those macrobiotic contaminants on floors, dishes and other surfaces.

    Make certain to throw sponges through the dishwasher with every cycle and wash your mop (or disinfect it with a bleach solution) after every cleaning.

  6. Avoid Wearing Shoes in the Home

    Shoes are by far one of the biggest sources of introducing outside contaminants into any home; especially for those who wear them throughout their house.

    If you prefer to wear shoes when you’re inside, opt for slippers, sandals or a pair of sneakers that are solely for wear inside of the home to avoid bringing outside germs inside.