'Tis the season to be ready — guest-ready, that is! For many homeowners, the next few weeks will seem like a mad dash to get everything completed. From decorating your home to purchasing and wrapping gifts, it can feel like it’s all over before you even have the time to blink an eye.
Although you might be worried about your master list of to-dos, here at Anderson, we want to suggest some helpful preventive care tips. No, we aren’t talking about making sure your family members stay on their best behavior, but more about keeping your home in the best shape to host family and friends over the holidays, without having to call for emergency repair.
And while not all things can be prevented, there are several common holiday issues we encounter, that with a little bit of prep, could be avoided. So, as you begin to deck the halls in your home, here’s what we want you to keep in mind:
Is Your Home Holiday Ready?
Decorate With Care
One of the most enjoyable things to do as a family is to decorate your home! As you hang the stockings or string holiday lights, make sure you’re keeping safety in mind. Remember to check every light strand before you hang them since frayed or broken wires can be a safety hazard. And if you have little ones in the home, or plan on them having to visit for the holidays, keep any breakable ornaments higher up on the tree.
Another common mistake many make when decorating their homes is the placement of the decorations. In homes with central HVAC systems, you want to keep your air vents in mind — don’t put anything in front or over them, as it can block airflow and alter your home’s temperature.
Another big part of your holiday care can often be your Christmas tree. Whether you opt for a real or artificial one, you’ll want to pick an area free of all heating sources. Never put your tree near a fireplace, heating ducts, wall heaters or radiators. In fact, many artificial trees may say “fire-resistant,” but that doesn’t mean that constant heat will prevent it from setting ablaze. Now, if you have a real tree, be sure to water it often.
Other decorating tips you’ll want to keep in mind include:
- Keeping any flames or candles away from curtains, beds, and other fabric-based furnishings
- Keep wrapping paper away from your fireplace
- Check under your tree, every few days, for broken or fallen ornaments
Keep The Kitchen Cooking Ready
Another primary task that many holiday hosts face is the duty of providing a memorable meal for their loved ones. But before you scour the internet for picture-worthy dish ideas, it would be beneficial to see how your kitchen's plumbing is holding up. So before you begin glazing your ham, or filling your appetizer trays, you might want to take care of some of these common plumbing problems:
Dirty Drains: If you hear a gurgle every time your water goes down your kitchen sink, a simple drain cleaning or clearing should be considered before your guests arrive. The longer this issue goes ignored, the bigger the problem may get.
In fact, whatever is stopping the water flow will continue to build-up and can eventually corrode your pipes. Not to mention, when you go to do the dishes after your holiday dinner, the last thing you want is to put your hand in a puddle of dirty sink water (yuck!). So, to stay in the clear, schedule your yearly drain cleaning today!
And for more information on what to do when you suspect a significant clog, visit our Anderson Video Library.
Blocked Disposal: As you begin your meal prepping, remember to give your garbage disposal the love it deserves. It can be pretty easy for grease, fats, and fibrous foods to slide down your drain when you're not looking. However, if you are working with cooking fats, place the leftover butter, fat, or grease in an old tin can or food container. Once it’s hardened in the container, you can throw it out with ease; read on for your friendly reminder of What Can and Cannot go Down The Drain.
And for more on how you can ensure your home is ready to tackle holiday dinner read Drain Tips For Holiday Meal Prep.
Don’t Forget Good Air Quality
Did you recently paint or finish construction on a room? If so, when was the last time you replaced your air filters? These little things can all alter your indoor air quality. Fortunately, there are several types of air quality systems available that can keep your home’s air supply in tip-top shape!
For instance, if you find you or your family sniffling and sneezing when in your home, your air quality could be to blame. Not only that, any chemically-produced air fresheners and sprays you choose could be contributing to the poor quality, too.
For more on improving your home air quality before your guests arrive, read » Getting Your Home’s Air Quality Guest-Ready.
Keep Each Room at Even Temperatures
Picture this: The stove is going, laughter is flowing, and body heat has increased enough to make your guests start to sweat. Typically, this is a common occurrence for many holiday parties — specifically for those that don’t take room temperature into consideration.
Pro Tip: Open the windows in rooms with the most occupants. This will improve your air quality, provide a gentle breeze, and improve the temperature fast.
Let it Flow, Let it Flow, Let it Flow
Now let's discuss your overnight guests: The last thing you want to “gift” your family with on Christmas morning is an unexpectedly cold shower. Therefore, consider giving your water heater the love it needs. If your unit has been making knocking sounds, the pilot light keeps going out, or your hot water continues to run out — it’s time to call for a repair; so you can keep your hot water flowing all holiday long.
And if you do find that your hot water is limited, you might want to consider upgrading to a tankless unit. Making the switch can provide you with hot water on-demand while keeping your energy costs low.
For more on your water heater options, watch Mr. Water Heater.
Speaking of easy flowing, if you're looking to drink crystal clear water directly from your tap, you may want to consider a water filtration system! For homeowners in San Diego, the hard water problem is something most are aware of, so investing in one of these systems can provide you with a world of benefits.
Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
While you're getting your water heater repaired, don’t forget about your heating tune-up, too! When you schedule heating maintenance, you’ll have a more efficient system to provide your guests with the perfect temperature and any minor issues will be taken care of before they become major problems. Not to mention, it will keep your warranty intact and will be one less thing you’ll have to worry about in the new year to come.
Give the Gift of Better Hygiene
Now that your home is free from any plumbing, heating, and decorating hazards, let's talk gifts! And we have the perfect one for everyone in your household: A Toto Bidet toilet seat (also known as a Washlet!) Although the prevailing thought is that most bidets and washlets are only useful for women, they can actually be a great luxury item for all! You’ll really appreciate the Toto Washlet on cold wintry mornings because it is heated and with the remote control you will never have to touch the toilet seat again — not to mention the hygiene benefits your whole family will experience, too.
And for more information on why you'll want to upgrade your toilet this holiday season, here’s a fun video we made called » Two Guys Talk Bidets.
Last but not least, remember to enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones! From all of us at Anderson Plumbing, Heating and Air, Happy Holidays!
And if you need help preparing your home’s plumbing or need an emergency service in the middle of your holiday celebrations, just know that Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air will be there for you!
Visit our website, or call (866) 374-0402 to request an appointment with our outstanding team of HVAC specialists! Emergency service available 24/7, 365 days a year.