Healthy homes through the winter season

We have been blessed with amazing weather this fall and I hope we have all absorbed enough sunlight to help us through the winter that is to come. Now is the time to think healthy homes, before we shut the windows tight and fight to keep the cold at bay.

There are often unseen and forgotten-about spaces in our homes which affect the indoor air quality and overall wellness we experience in living in our houses. New or old, every house can use a bit of extra attention at this time of year to make it the healthiest place we can inhabit. A few items to consider:

1. Furnace filters/carpets/upholstery/mattresses – these are the items which trap dust, skin, hair and other airborne particulate which affect our air quality. It is a good practice to change filters, steam clean and thoroughly vacuum all materials which fit into this category. It will refresh the home and the air you breathe every day. Washing ironing board covers, throw mats and blankets also helps with a breath of fresh air as these are items we may not often clean. Carpet warranties are maintained with regular cleaning and it extends the life of your flooring and upholstery.

2. Carefully check corners of window sills, the tops of door frames and hidden corners behind beds and furniture for dust and dirt accumulation. It seems like an obvious suggestion as we all clean our homes but sometimes there are areas that we see every day but can forget to dust. A lot of dust can accumulate in just a few short weeks. Artificial plants are another culprit for collecting dust and webs from spiders and mites – all of these areas need a good shaking from time to time. It is a good reminder to clean dust traps in electronics, hair dryers and appliances as accumulation in these products can become fire hazards.

3. Clean your oven now before the big Christmas feast while you can still leave the windows open to evacuate the awful smell!

4. Furnace ducts and fireplace chimneys need a little extra attention every few years, there are many professional services available to clean these vital arteries in your home. A clean furnace filter doesn’t stand a chance when you have ducting full of dust and debris.

That is quite the laundry list! People who read this who know me well will get a chuckle out of the fact that I am giving house keeping tips (especially the great gal who cleans my house FOR me!). The above tips are good advice for indoor air quality and offered to help you with the ‘breathability’ of your home. I’m sure we all have those dark corners of our home which suffer neglect – how often do you clean the crumb trap in your toaster? If it is more than once a week, we need to talk!

Enjoy the beautiful weather, soon enough we will be looking out at a white landscape longing for spring to free us from our cocoons. Prep your home for an enjoyable, healthy and breathable winter.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Feel free to contact her at 343-7711 ext 227, email her at HYPERLINK “” or join her facebook group called “Ask a Designer”