The holiday season is approaching quickly and, like every year, you are probably suddenly finding yourself racing to get ready for your guests. At the same time that you’re making the bed in the spare room and putting out the good towels, don’t forget that your heating and plumbing can use a bit of extra TLC, too.
Taking the right steps before your guests arrive can make sure your home will be warm, the hot water will flow, the drains will be clear and everyone will be safe. After all, when you’re entertaining guests, the last thing you want to do is tempt fate. Stop potential problems before they happen by taking these straightforward steps.
✔ Have your furnace serviced – it’s a good idea to have your furnace professionally serviced at least once per year. Doing it before your guests arrive will make sure your furnace is running as efficiently as possible. It also ensures that any potential issues will be spotted and taken care of before they can become problematic.
✔ Close your chimney damper – on those cold evenings when you gather around the fireplace to get toasty, don’t forget to close the chimney damper once the fire has gone out. This will help to keep the rest of your heat from needlessly escaping.
✔ Check your floor and ceiling registers – open them up to make sure warm air will reach your guest room, where you may typically keep your registers closed. Take the opportunity to vacuum them out to make sure they are clear of debris.
✔ Invest in heavy festive curtains – the festive season is not only a great time to decorate your home, but it also gives you the chance to hang some heavy curtains that will keep the heat in and the cold out, improving the efficiency of your home heating.
✔ Check your hot water heater temperature – you may want to lower it slightly to avoid scalding your guests, particularly if there will be children visiting. This can also help you to save a bit of money since there will be many more people taking showers. Avoid running out of hot water by spacing out bathing times between guests. This will give the hot water heater a bit of time to warm up again. Better yet, book a professional hot water heater inspection and have the temperature adjusted as the whole unit is properly checked and cleaned.
✔ Place a garbage can next to the toilet – this will encourage your guests to throw things in the trash instead of trying to flush them. A friendly little note requesting that the garbage be used for everything except toilet paper can also help to remind guests not to flush their tissues, cotton balls, swabs and other items that could easily clog your pipes.
✔ Don’t pour oil and grease down the drain – though you may feel that drains provide easy disposal for liquid cooking oils and grease, this practice could rapidly lead to disaster. They may be liquids when you use them but once they’re in the drains, they can easily solidify and create a clog that is very challenging to remove. Instead, toss grease into your compost or pour it into an old milk carton and throw it in the trash. Use a paper towel to wipe out the remaining cooking grease on pans and toss that in the compost or the garbage, too.
✔ Know what shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal – the garbage disposal may make for easy cleanup of many substances but there are many items that can cause it to jam. Avoid tossing anything fatty, stringy or starchy into your garbage disposal. When you’re throwing something appropriate into it, be sure to have the water running before it is used, while it is being used, and after everything has gone into it. This will help to make sure the waste has been effectively rinsed away and pushed out through the pipes.
These small steps can make all the difference in avoiding heating and plumbing disasters. For more assistance or to schedule some pre-holiday maintenance, give us a call today. Also, be sure to keep our number, 610-689-8080, on hand throughout the holidays, just in case. Remember, we are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including emergency service.