The day you close on your new house is a time for celebration, but now that the home is yours, you probably have a to-do list a mile long. Before settling in, the very first thing you should do is give your new home a deep clean so it’s move-in ready. Beyond the basics, it’s important to focus on the quality of the air in your home too. These move-in cleaning tips will help you scout out hidden pollutants and ensure the air you breathe is clean and healthy.
What Are Air Pollutants?
When we think of the allergens that affect the air in our homes, most of us think of the obvious things like dust. Dust is certainly a top home allergen, but there are also hidden pollutants you may not be aware of. Pet dander, mold and mildew, and chemicals like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are other common sources of indoor air pollution. These may not be obvious to the eye, but they are likely lurking in your air regardless.
How Can You Clear the Air Right Away (and Keep it Clean)?
One of the very first things you should do is replace your home’s air filters. Air filters are your first line of defense against indoor air pollution, and in a new home, you don’t know how long it has been since they were changed. It’s not uncommon for many people to go far too long — sometimes as long as over a year — without changing their air filters. To stay on top of this in the future, consider subscribing to an air filter subscription service. Replacing your filters regularly not only ensures you have cleaner air, but it also lowers your energy bill, helps your heating and cooling system last longer, and leads to better health.
Another way you can clear the air is to get an air purifier. Air purifiers remove harmful gases like VOCs and chemicals that may be lingering in the air. These harmful chemicals can include anything from air fresheners and harsh cleaning products to paint and building materials.
What Should You Clean to Improve Air Quality?
Try to use natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice as much as possible to avoid household chemicals. Once you’re armed with the right tools, focus your pre-move-in cleaning on ways you can reduce allergens throughout the home.
- Start at the top – Not only does gravity work in your favor when you clean from the top to the bottom of a room, but this also ensures you don’t overlook higher spots such as ceiling fans, chandeliers, and crown molding. Bed, Bath, & Beyond recommends cleaning ceiling fan blades before they spin so that dust doesn’t get spread around.
- Clear the airways – Make sure to clean all air vents and exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. Their job is to circulate the air in your home, but if they’re dirty and covered in dust, they won’t function properly, and you may be spreading allergens.
- Don’t skip a surface – Be sure to dust and disinfect all surfaces in every room of your home. Along with the obvious surfaces like counters, baths, and toilets, Clean My Space recommends spending some time on the less obvious surfaces like cabinet interiors and baseboards. Give a little extra disinfecting attention to high-traffic spots too, such as doorknobs and toilet handles, which are magnets for germs.
- Deep clean floors – Vacuum all floors, then use a wet mop on hard surfaces. Using a wet mop will get rid of any unwelcome residue, including pet dander, which can cause allergies. If your home has carpets, consider using a steam cleaner or hire a professional to get carpets properly cleaned.
When making your leaning list, don’t skip the tasks that are essential for better air. Allergens and pollutants in the air may not be as noticeable as spots and stains, but they’re in your home regardless. Get these pollutants out now so you can move into a clean and healthy home.
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.
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