With cold weather comes the beginning of cold and flu season. While the timing and duration varies, the season of sniffles usually begins in October and peaks between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Before the sneezing and coughing hits your household, it’s important to take steps for a healthy home. This means going beyond disinfectant wipes and rethinking the air that surrounds your family. Find your local Lennox® dealer to start a conversation about healthy air in your home and follow the tips below to stop sickness from spreading this cold and flu season.
Keep the Sick Person Separate
It doesn’t take much for the flu or a nasty cold to spread. When a sick person sneezes, coughs or even talks, their germs can affect people as far as six feet away. Flu germs are also spread by touching something that has flu viruses on it. To reduce exposure in your home, give your sick family member their own room and bathroom. This confines the germs and gives you less space to disinfect.
Stock Up on Comforting Essentials
To save yourself a trip to the store when a loved one is sick, make sure you have sick-day basics on hand. Stock your pantry and freezer with comfort foods such as chicken soup, herbal tea and ice pops. You can also take time to ensure you have plenty of tissues and cozy blankets on hand.
Be Smart in the Bathroom
During cold and flu season, help prevent the spread of germs by using disposable cups and making sure every family member uses their own hand towel. You can go one step further by using paper towels instead of cloth hand towels while someone is sick in your home. You should also keep the ill family member’s toothbrush separate from those of other family members.
Look Out for Dirty Laundry
If a family member is sick, their bedding, clothes and towels are full of germs. To avoid picking up these germs, transport the dirty items in a laundry basket and wash your hands after loading the washing machine. It’s also a good idea to sanitize your washing machine with bleach. Just run an empty cycle of hot water and add bleach to the dispenser. You can run an additional cycle to ensure the bleach is gone.
Commit to Clean Hands
Germs usually enter the body through the mouth, nose or eyes, so it’s important that everyone in your family stays diligent about handwashing. To kill germs, wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Help kids remember by reminding them to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while they wash.
Purify Your Air
It doesn’t matter how much you disinfect your home or wash your hands if you’re breathing in contaminated air. Use an air purification system, such as Lennox’ PureAir™ S, which kills 90 percent of germs and eliminates 99.9 percent of airborne particles such as dust, pet dander and pollen. It also removes unpleasant household odors and vapors. Watch this quick video to learn more.
A Healthy Home Starts with You
When someone you love gets sick with a cold or the flu, it can put a strain on the whole family. By thinking through a few ways to keep illness at bay, you can make cold and flu season more bearable. Let Lennox help. Find your local Lennox® dealer and explore ways to save with rebates and special financing.