Top tips to 'flurona'-proof your home

These hygiene habits and cleaning practices can keep germs at bay.

In addition to the spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant, it's also flu season, which serves as a timely reminder for how to keep healthy hygiene habits at home.

While flu rates were unusually low last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids are back in school and many activities outside homes have resumed where people can pick up any virus.

"Thousands of people wind up in the hospital unfortunately. Thousands also die every year. A lot of other people get taken out of work when their kids get sick," Dr. Alok Patel, a pediatric hospitalist at Stanford Children's Health told "Good Morning America."

To help keep the flu and other viruses at bay, check out these simple ways to germ-proof a home below:

Washing hands is a well-known hygiene habit and the tried and true soap and water method is far more effective than hand sanitizer, Patel said.

"There are some pathogens or nasty bugs that can only be killed with soap and water," he said.  When it comes to keeping the house clean, the American Cleaning Institute recommends washing bed sheets every two weeks, but more often if someone in the home has been sick.

It also recommends swapping out sponges more often during the winter, as well as taking the trash out more frequently to keep airborne germs and mold contained.

Dr. Patel also advises using more disinfectant to clean door handles and commonly touched surfaces, but for homes with kids focus on lower level areas within their reach too.

"I watch what my daughter is doing just crawling around the house and I noticed there are parts of the house in the apartment that she's touching, and she's licking but we don't always pay attention to like the bottom of the kitchen table," Patel said.

If you plan to have people over, consider ways to keep the house ventilated with windows, air purifiers and even changing out a furnace filter which should be done every three months.

Patel said, "Keep the air flowing whether that is through turning on a bathroom fan. The oven range fan opening a window or using a HEPA filter." Finally, focus on other habits including regularly washing winter gloves, avoiding a communal toothbrush cup to help stop the spread of germs, and cleaning your phone.