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Seven Ways To Avoid The Flu and Getting a Cold

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Along with fall and winter weather comes the start of cold and flu season. Timing and duration may vary, but our sniffling can begin in October and peak between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A worldwide pandemic has not only impacted how we think about our health, but also about the air we breathe. For instance, while it's possible for COVID-19 to be contracted from surfaces, the CDC says that risk is low compared to airborne particles. So disinfectant wipes are no longer enough. Find your local Lennox® dealer to start a conversation about the air in your home, and in the meantime, to help keep your home and family healthy, here are some steps you can take to avoid the flu and avoid getting a cold.

1. Purify Your Air

Consider installing an air purification system. The PureAir and PureAir S Air Purification Systems, with the Lennox Healthy Climate Carbon Clean 16® air filter, not only remove 99.9 percent of airborne particles (including dust, pet dander and pollen), they also remove over 99% of the virus that causes COVID-191 from the air2. A bonus is ridding your home of unpleasant odors and vapors. Watch this quick video to learn more.

2. Wear a Mask 

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, the CDC called cloth face coverings "one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the (COVID-19) virus." Seasonal viruses, like the flu, are transmitted from person-to-person through droplets that are generated by coughing and sneezing, and the CDC states that masks can limit 50-70% of transmission from fine droplets and particles. If that's true for such an easily transmissible disease, how much protection might a mask could provide and help you avoid the flu and avoid getting a cold. 

3. Commit to Clean Hands

It's important that everyone in your family washes their hands regularly because colds and flu usually enter the body through the mouth, nose, or eyes. To kill those germs before they have the chance to get started, lather with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Kids can be encouraged to sing "Happy Birthday" twice through as they wash.

4. Keep Your Sick Person Separate

When someone with a cold or the flu sneezes, coughs, or even talks, those germs can spread to people six feet away. Simply touching a contaminated surface can give you a virus. Since it's so easy for the flu or a nasty cold to get around, you can reduce exposure in your home by isolating your ill family member to their own room and bathroom. This not only confines the germs, it also leaves you with less surface area to disinfect.

5. Stock Up on Comforting Essentials

To save yourself a trip to the store when a loved one is ill, 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, and also take time to ensure you have plenty of tissues and cozy blankets on hand. 

6. Be Smart in the Bathroom

If someone in your home is sick, help prevent the spread of their germs by keeping their tooth-brush separate from others and encourage the use of disposable cups. Also, make sure every family member uses their own hand towel. Or go one step further and use paper towels instead of cloth.

7. Look Out for Dirty Laundry

The bedding, clothes, and towels of a sick family member are full of germs. To avoid catching what they've got, transport dirty items to the washing machine in a laundry basket, then wash your hands after loading. It's also a good idea to sanitize the machine by running an empty cycle with only hot water and bleach. Just run an additional cycle afterwards to ensure any bleach is rinsed away.

A Healthy Home Starts with You

When someone you love is sick with a cold or the flu, it can put a strain on the whole family. Why not keep illness at bay, and avoid getting a cold and avoid the flu. Let Lennox help. Find your local Lennox® dealer and explore ways to save with rebates and special financing.

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