Indoor Air Quality
- Maintenance Club
Professional Heating & Air Winter 2016 Newsletter
Don't Let Your Christmas Party Wreak Havoc on Your Home
So, you’re throwing a Christmas party this year—that’s great! You’ll want to consider what kind of food you’re going to buy, who you’re going to invite, how many people you’ll be inviting, and how you’ll be decorating. And of course, you’ll want to make sure your home is ready, too.
We aren’t talking about whether or not your home is clean and uncluttered—although this is likely a huge part of your party planning—but rather whether or not your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems can handle the increased demand about to be placed on them. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—reducing your risks now means entering 2017 without a problem in sight.
How to Prep Your Plumbing for a Party
Planning on doing some cooking before and during your party? Avoid putting certain foods and waste material down your kitchen sink. We understand that in the haste and bustle of planning a party, things can get overlooked. But if you truly want a stress–free affair, then FOG (fats, oils, and grease), potato skins, celery, and coffee grounds should never meet your garbage disposal.
The kitchen isn’t the only room you should worry about. Your bathroom is going to be under increased demand during your Christmas part as well. If children will be present, be sure to remind them of proper toilet paper use, and don’t allow food in the bathroom as it may end up getting purposefully or accidentally flushed—creating a stubborn clog. It’s also unwise to leave any small objects or Christmas decorations behind or on top of the toilet back—these could fall into the toilet and create a blockage.
Take Care With Your Lighting
Speaking of decorations, lighting safety is huge during this time of the year. Christmas parties inspire Christmas decorations, and in the excitement it’s easy to forget that your home’s electrical grid can only take so much. If you’re utilizing outdoor lighting, then you want to ensure the outlets you have available are GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected. And when using Christmas lighting indoors, be careful about using too many power strips and/or high wattage decorations.
Don’t Forget About Your HVAC System
Whether your Christmas party is taking place on a chilly night or a warm one, when you add a significant amount of extra bodies to a room, both the temperature and the humidity rises. Make sure your air conditioning system is well maintained and any repair needs are taken care of, so that if you do need to utilize it to cool off and rid your home of excess moisture, it’s fully prepared to do so.
The most important thing to remember when you are hosting a holiday party of any kind is that you’re there to have fun and be around the friends and family that you love. So long as you prepare the best you can, you can enjoy yourself and have a great event. We hope your Christmas party goes off without a hitch!
Modern heating systems have only gotten more and more effective over the years. Like any other mechanical system, however, any heater can run into operational problems from time to time. Some times are more convenient than others, of course. When you have guests arriving at your home later in the day, and your heater just failed, "convenient" is probably not the word that you’d use to describe the situation. Fortunately for you, heating technicians are available even around the holiday season. Homeowners cannot simply be expected to put up with cold temperatures in their homes until regular business hours resume once more. Before you go scheduling emergency heating services, though, there are a few things to check on your own.
Using a Heat Pump? Is it in Heating Mode?
First of all, make sure that your heat pump is actually in heating mode. Because heat pumps both heat and cool homes, it is possible that your system was just accidentally switched over to the cooling mode. If this is the case, the flip of a switch is all that is necessary to get your heater back to blowing warm air to keep your guests comfortable.
Did You Double Check Temperature Settings?
No matter what type of heater you use, it is controlled by a thermostat. This may sound obvious, but you should always double check to make sure that your thermostat is set properly and that the system is actually in heating mode, rather than a "fan–only" mode. Radiant heating systems don’t use fans, but you may have accidentally set the thermostat too low, so you are not feeling the desired effects from its operation.
What About Temperature Zones?
If your heater is zoned—meaning that you can heat different areas of your home to different temperatures—check each zone to ensure that comfortable temperatures are set. It can be easy to miss changes in temperatures throughout the house when you are stuck in a hot kitchen all day. You may be nice and toasty, but any guests waiting for dinner to be served may be a good deal chillier in the den.
Some Problems Will Demand Professional Attention
These are definitely best case scenarios, and there is no guarantee that the issue you’re facing with your heater is quite this simple. If you cannot find an obvious cause of the problem, then contact your heating technicians right away. While you focus on getting your guests squared away and dinner on the table, they can focus on returning your heater to proper operating condition before the winter holidays start feeling too wintery in your home.
We hope that these tips will help you to deal with any heating issues that you may encounter this holiday season. Consider this last one a gift from us to you. Schedule routine heating maintenance before the guests start to arrive. This is not the season for testing your luck when it comes to the operation of your heater.