The 2020 holiday season looks a little different for most. However, many people still plan to host gatherings in their homes to celebrate the holidays.
With more people than normal in your home, it’s important to plan ahead to prevent any heating or plumbing emergencies.
Let’s face it, no one wants to google, “plumber open now” during a holiday party. We want to make the holidays easy and stress-free. So, we have gathered our top holiday heating tips from your local plumber.
- Adjust the Temperature on Your Water Heater
For most of the year, water heater temperatures should be set around 120° Fahrenheit. However, the colder air temperatures in winter mean the water entering your home also gets progressively colder.
Your water heater works overtime to heat that water for your showers. Also, what has already been heated in the tank is often cooled again once new, cold water reaches it. To adjust for this, we recommended bumping up the temperature setting on your water heater in winter. We recommend an increase of 5 or 10 degrees.
It is important to note that with small children, the elderly, or those with sensitive skin in your home, adjust the temperature with caution. You want them to enjoy a nice warm shower, but test the water before having guests hop in to avoid potential scalding.
- Keep Heating Vents and Registers Clear
Airflow is essential over the winter, even more so with a home full of guests. Be sure no vents or registers are closed or blocked by furniture. This works to balance the temperature in your home. It also helps to prevent cracks in the ductwork due to the built-up air pressure.
- Clean or Replace Air Filters
This should be done seasonally but is especially important heading into winter and family gathering season. Heating systems most often heat your home through heat exchange, meaning air is pulled in from elsewhere in the home by the fan.
Over time, the air filters become full of dust, hair, and sometimes chemicals in the air that had been previously filtered out. Clogged/dirty air filters restrict the airflow in your home and negatively impact air quality. This is harmful to everyone, but especially those with indoor allergies.
When choosing a filter, consider that pleated HVAC Filters offer more protection than standard synthetic or fiberglass air filters. The pleats increase the filter’s surface area and allow it to better filter out harmful particles so you and your guests can breathe easy this season.
- Plan Showers to Ease the Strain on the Water Heater
If you’ve got a house full of guests, likely you’ve also got a constant line for the shower in the mornings. Rather than guests showering back to back, plan ahead.
Ask your guests to space their showers out at least 10-15 minutes from each other. Ideally, have them shower throughout the day. This eases the load on your water heater and prevents anyone from experiencing a potential cold shower if the hot water runs out!
- Don’t Abuse your Garbage Disposal (or Drains)
It’s easy when cooking for a crowd or entertaining to depend on the garbage disposal for easy cleanup. However, be sure you’re only disposing of food items that won’t harm your system.
Avoid putting animal bones, coffee grounds, eggshells, nuts, or other harmful items into the disposal. Run cold water while you use the garbage disposal and keep the water on for a few seconds after. Additionally, respect your kitchen drains.
Do not dispose of oil, grease, or other fats down the drain to avoid possible pipe clogs once they solidify.
- Adjust your Blinds for the Time of Day
It’s important to utilize sunlight during the day, so open your blinds during daylight hours. As sunlight comes into the home, it helps heat it and relieves stress from your heating system.
At night, be sure to close the blinds. This prevents cold air from entering through the windows and warm air from exiting.
- Use your Existing (or Invest in a New) Programmable Thermostat.
Programmable thermostats are a game-changer for energy efficiency. They are also great when planning to host guests in your home. You can program the thermostat for a lower temperature during times where it is likely to warm up in your home.
These include when guests will all be in the same room or when you plan on doing a lot of cooking.
- Remind your Guests of Bathroom Etiquette.
Just like in public bathrooms, it is important to not flush anything down your toilets at home that may cause plumbing issues. Consider placing a small reminder in your bathrooms that tells guests toilet paper is all they can flush. This decreases the chances of any clogged toilets.
Be sure to furnish each bathroom in your home with a small waste can to make it easy for guests to follow the rules.
- Utilize your Ceiling Fans – in the Right Direction!
Just because you’ve got the heat on, doesn’t mean you need to retire your ceiling fans for the winter. Just because you’ve got the heat on, doesn’t mean you need to retire your ceiling fans for the winter.
These fans can help heat your home as well. Be sure to select the “reverse” option on your fan, which pushes warm air down. This is especially useful in rooms with tall ceilings, where warm air from the heater often sits up high.
- Have your Plumbing and Heating Systems Professionally Inspected.
For peace of mind, consider scheduling a maintenance service from your local plumbing and heating professionals before hosting any events this holiday season. These services begin with an inspection, which identifies any existing issues or potential issues to address. For peace of mind, consider scheduling a maintenance service from your local plumbing and heating professionals before hosting any events this holiday season. These services begin with an inspection, which identifies any existing issues or potential issues to address.
From there, you get a personalized plan of action that outlines what steps to take to avoid any major problems down the road.
Heating & Plumbing Experts in Yonkers
Flotechs Plumbing and Heating is proud to have served the folks in Yonkers, NY with their plumbing problems for over 7 years. We strive to offer fair pricing, quick service, and superior customer support.
If you can send us photos or videos, we are happy to provide a free estimate to you along with any tips or quick fixes we can offer, so you can carry on with your day.
Our Emergency Line is open 24/7, making us the go-tos for plumbing and heating emergencies this winter (and year-round). We want everyone to enjoy stress-free holidays this year and will do our best to continue to serve the community to make that happen.
Contact us today to prepare your home for festive gatherings this holiday season. We hope you enjoyed our 2020 holiday plumbing tips!