- Take down decorations. Before starting a project, remove decorations, light fixtures and extra furniture from the room and organize into bins. Removing any household goods that are not needed will help prevent them from becoming dirty or damaged during the process.
- Keep dust at bay. Dust can build up quickly while remodelling and can settle throughout your home, even outside the space you’re updating. For dust in the air, try an air purifier such as the Dyson Pure Cool HEPA Air Purifier and Fan that traps microscopic dust and other airborne particles. The device automatically senses indoor air quality in real time and projects clean air to every corner of the room.
- Isolate the area. While the renovation is in full swing, try to keep it isolated from other parts of your home. Hang a plastic sheet between rooms to help contain some of the dust and debris. If you’re kicking up a lot of dust, close your floor vents to help reduce the amount of dust that travels to the rest of the house.
- Vacuum up high, down below and in between. Despite your best precautions, it’s inevitable that debris from the renovated area will spill into other rooms. Take time to vacuum regularly to keep your other living spaces free of dirt and dust. Use a lightweight cord-free vacuum that has different attachments to reach on top of window panes, under furniture, in between upholstery and on stairs.
- Be aware of chemicals in the air. A fresh coat of paint can transform the look and feel of a room, but it can also emit volatile organic compounds into the air. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs may have short and long-term adverse health effects. The Dyson Pure Cool purifying fan has a sensor that detects and captures VOCs and emits cleaner air into the room.
Indoor air is an important health concern, as most Canadians spend up to 90 per cent of their time indoors. Poor indoor air quality can play a significant role in triggering certain conditions, like asthma. Here are tips on reducing some of the more common indoor triggers:
Dust and dust mites:
- Remove or reduce dust-collecting items such as carpeting, drapes, stuffed toys and old pillows.
- Wash bedding weekly in hot water.
- Encase pillows and mattresses in covers that are dust mite-proof.
- Keep humidity level below 50 per cent.
- Vacuum regularly using a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or central vacuum.
- If the humidity level is greater than 50 per cent, use a dehumidifier.
- Limit the number of plants in your home.
- Fix leaks and moisture problems as quickly as possible.
- Remove clutter and allow air to flow throughout your home, especially in the basement.
- For small amounts of mould, use warm soapy water to clean it up. For larger amounts, hire mould abatement experts.
- Check that your eavestroughs and drain spouts are clear of any buildup.
- Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation so that rainwater drains away — water should flow easily away from the house.
- Throw away musty items.
- Many household cleaning products contain chemicals that irritate the lungs, so buy air-friendly versions or make your own.
- When using cleaning products, air out the home by opening windows and using vent fans.
- * Do not allow smoking in your home or car at any time.
- * If you smoke, take it outside every time; when you’re ready to quit, you can seek help from the Lung Association
Find more information online at lungontario.ca.
Spring is in the air, which means it’s time to start decluttering and organizing. While the main purpose of spring cleaning is to clean your space, it can also include taking on tasks that will make your home more energy efficient.
Here are some tips from Hydro One on how to save energy and make spring cleaning a breeze.
Book a spring tune-up for your air conditioner. Annual servicing can reduce your cooling costs by up to 10 percent and extend the life of your system.
Commit to being clutter free. Keep weeds and debris away from your outdoor condenser unit to allow the air to circulate freely. Prune foliage to be at least 24 centimeters away from the condenser.
Change or clean filters. Clogged filters restrict airflow and make your system work overtime, making it less efficient. Spring is a great transitional season for you to check both your furnace and air conditioning filters to ensure they are clean and working properly.
Install a programmable thermostat. If properly set, it can reduce cooling costs. Set your central air conditioner for 25°C when you are at home and 28°C when you are away. Or turn it off to save more energy.
Schedule your washing loads. Run your dishwasher, washer and dryer early in the morning, in the evening or on weekends when electricity rates are lowest.
Find more tips at www.hydroone.com/saveenergy.
Make it part of your routine. If you wait to clean and tidy up once a week, a month or even a season, you’re setting yourself up for a long, heavy chore that you’ll only dread and procrastinate. Instead, try incorporating easy tasks like wiping the kitchen counters, straightening out the living room and freshening up your bed with linen spray into your daily schedule and you’ll have a much easier and quicker time of it when you deep clean.
Choose appliances that tackle the dirty work. You may already have a self-cleaning oven or laundry machine, but that self-cleaning magic is more valuable than ever when you can have it in the bathroom. The new VorMax Plus self-cleaning toilet from American Standard is a huge time-saver that cleans and freshens your toilet every time you flush. Available at Home Depot, it features an innovative design that uses a Lysol fresh infuser that reduces dirt buildup and an antimicrobial surface that inhibits the growth of stain- and odour-causing bacteria.
Set tidying up on autopilot. It’s a lot easier to clean when you have a system that keeps your house clean. Keep your mud room area in top shape by encouraging everyone to sort their coats, shoes and mitts as soon as they set foot in the door with designated hangers and pretty storage boxes. Eliminate unattractive packaging and clutter in the bathroom and kitchen with mason jars and decorative canisters for your toiletries and dried goods.
Have items work double duty. Get creative and think outside the box to find things that can do some of the cleaning for you. For example, your dishwasher can do much more than just clean your plates, pots and pans. Load it up with plastic toys, light fixtures and toothbrush holders and have it run while you work on everything else. Using dryer sheets to prevent musty odours in clothing storage boxes, linen closets and shoes means you won’t have to do extra cleaning or laundry just to get rid of unwanted smells.
Add some inspiration. Sometimes tasks feel like they take forever simply because they’re dull and repetitive. Time flies by when you’re entertained, so listen to a podcast or stream re-runs of your favourite show in the background for cleaning that seems speedier. You can also use the time more efficiently by multitasking and squeezing in a workout while you clean. Make every step count with a fitness tracker and throw in a few exercises like pushups or squats every time you switch rooms and easily meet your daily physical activity goals.