Autumn Cleaning

Now’s a good time to catch up on cleaning and maintenance jobs that can improve the health of your home before winter.

02 April 2020

Autumn Cleaning

While we’re all at home, now is a good time to tackle those jobs we never seem to get around to any other time. Grab the kids and anyone in your bubble and work together to make your place a better place and stay healthy at home.

Damp, Mould & Dust Mites

  1. Remove mould: Mould and mildew are factors that can aggravate respiratory conditions. EECA recommends using vinegar and water to remove mould from windows, sills, walls & ceilings.
  2. Clean curtains: Wash curtains and dry well in the sun before hanging back up. For removing mould, moisten the areas with some lemon juice and then spread with salt and leave in the sun to dry, before rinsing thoroughly twice*.
  3. Clear guttering & drains: Blocked gutters and drains create rain overflow and pooling which can result in a damp home. Worksafe** recommends taking extra care with heights and using the right hazard controls.
  4. Rake leaves: Going back another step, it’s often autumn leaves that block the drains, that cause the overflow, damp and mould.
  5. Vacuum, sun and turn mattresses: To deal to dust mites by regularly vacuuming your mattresses and letting the sunshine directly on its surface. Flipping the mattress is also recommended.
  6. Wash mattress covers & blankets: And while you’re at it, give your mattress protector and bedding a good clean on a sunny day so it can dry in the sun. Dust mites hate sunshine.
  7. Deep clean carpets & rugs: If your local supermarket has steam cleaners available still, hire one to deep clean your carpets and rugs.

Warmth/Heating

  1. Trim trees: To reduce your heating needs, trim trees that block winter sun from coming into your home.
  2. Check smoke alarms: It’s daylight saving weekend which is a great time to check all your smoke alarms. Given the heating we use in winter - having working smoke alarms makes sense.
  3. Check electric blanket safety: Dig out any electric blankets you plan to use and inspect the cord, control switch and plug for any damage and look for any kinks, worn or exposed wires, or scorch marks. To check for damage to the heating elements, lay the blanket flat and turn it on for 15 minutes at the highest setting, watch it closely, and then turn it off. Run your hand over the blanket and feel for hot spots. A hot spot means the heating element has been kinked or damaged and could lead to fire or electric shock so you should safely dispose of the blanket and get a new one**.
  4. Inspect insulation: Sometimes doing work in your ceiling can move insulation out of place creating gaps that heat escapes through. Insulation needs to be at least 150mm thick throughout in your ceiling and any foil underfloor insulation should still be shiny and unripped.
  5. Clean filters: Any appliance that has a filter needs to be regularly cleaned to operate well. This especially applies to heat pumps, dehumidifiers, ventilation systems but also kitchen extractors and clothes dryers. Read more on cleaning heat pump filters here.

Need advice on insulation, heat pumps or ventilation? Our team is available on phone and can prepare a free home plan to improve your home health. Contact us today if you need to make your place a healthier place this winter.

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