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November 19, 2010
As the busy holiday season approaches, make sure your home is ready. Whether you’re expecting guests or planning to spend the holidays quietly at home here in Lawton, there are things you can do to stay comfortable while saving money and keeping energy costs low.
We’ve compiled a list of reminders and tips to help you get ready to enjoy what is sure to be another wonderful holiday season.
Heating Related Tips
- Get a furnace tune-up. If you haven’t already, schedule your annual furnace maintenance. Nobody wants the furnace to quit unexpectedly – especially when you are entertaining a house full of guests. With annual maintenance, a trained technician can inspect and tune-up your furnace to help you guarantee it is running efficiently and effectively when you’ll need it most. Well maintained units run better, use less power and lower energy costs.
- Use your ceiling fans. Many people don’t realize that ceiling fans are not just for cooling a room; they can help keep it warm, too. Cool air sinks and warm air rises. Switch your fans into reverse, and they will help push warm air down from the ceiling. Using ceiling fans in conjunction with your heating unit can help a room to feel warmer without having to adjust the thermostat.
- Keep the damper closed. If you have a fireplace, and you’re not using it, keep the damper in your chimney closed. When open, it is very easy for warm air to escape and cold air to enter, which can create a drafty feeling inside your home.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Help conserve energy and keep everyone comfortable with a programmable thermostat. Set the thermostat to a lower temperature at night when everyone is sleeping, and have it set to warm the house up a few degrees by the time people are waking up to start the day. If you are expecting guests, keep in mind the more people in your home the more body heat is generated. Depending on the level of activity and people there, you may plan on setting your thermostat a couple degrees lower than normal to keep your house comfortable.
- Avoid using portable heaters. Portable heating units can be dangerous if not used properly or if left unattended. If you notice some rooms in your home are colder than others, this might be indicative of a larger issue with your home heating system. You could have an imbalance in your system’s ductwork. To be sure, consider scheduling an airflow analysis, correction and balancing.
- Let the sunlight in. Take advantage of the free heat from the sun. When it’s shining in your windows, open the blinds or curtains and allow the warmth to enter your home. Getting in this habit can allow your furnace to work less and save you on energy costs. The sunlight will also have the added benefit of reducing cabin fever and livening everyone’s mood!
- Keep your registers and vents free and clear. Give your home a one-over and make sure curtains and/or furniture isn’t blocking your heating registers in any way. If guests are staying in your home make sure their suitcases, coats and other belongings are clear from the vents and registers, too. If the air supply is hindered in any way, this can cause your furnace or heat pump to work harder to compensate for the imbalance.
- Dress for the season. If you have guests coming you might consider reminding them to dress warm. If everyone knows and plans to dress for cooler weather, you won’t have to worry about cranking up your thermostat to compensate for the underdressed.
Plumbing Related Tips
- Schedule showers. Think ahead if you plan to have a house full of guests. Especially if you have a traditional tank water heater. Spacing out, and timing, showers can help you avoid running out of hot water when you need it most. If this is a common problem in your house all year-round, you might consider switching to a tankless water heater where water is only heated as it is needed. It saves on energy costs and you never run out of hot water.
- Throw grease and fats away. Avoid pouring cooking oil or grease down the drain – even if you have a garbage disposal. The liquids will solidify in the pipes and can clog your drain very easily. Instead, use an empty can to hold the grease until its thawed, or just pour it into the garbage.
- Use caution with your garbage disposal. If you have a garbage disposal, don’t put stringy foods like banana peels, pumpkin pulp or poultry skins down the drain. These foods do not grind up easily and they can jam your disposal or not drain properly, leaving a bigger problem on your hands. Throw this waste in the garbage, or better yet, compost them if you use this practice in your home.
- Place a trash can near the toilet. Don’t tempt your guests to flush things down the toilet that should not be flushed. Instead, place a trash bin next to, or near, the toilet so items like sanitary napkins are less likely to end up causing a clog.
Especially during the holidays, it’s good to feel confident in your home’s plumbing and heating system. Following these tips can help you be sure you and your guests will enjoy the holiday as planned.
For more on how you can prepare your home for the holidays or for questions, contact us online. Need service? Schedule service online today!