This time of year, your home becomes the center for family gatherings, Thanksgiving feasts, parties, etc., and your thoughts turn to holiday decorations, gift-giving and food. Here are some tips to help ensure a happy, warm, and safe holiday season.
While they set a delightful holiday ambiance, fireplaces can waste a lot of energy, as they pull warm air out of the house and force it out through the chimney. Make sure the damper is closed and that if you do use the fireplace, do so for as short a time as possible. Tip: Get your fireplace chimney flue cleaned yearly!â€‹
Do not block registers or air returns with furniture, drapes, or holiday decorations. This can cause uneven heating, and could even cause your HVAC system to fail. Try using the new LED lights this year as they use much less power and give off almost no heat. Tip: Use caution when decorating with candles and non-LED lights, as they are the common causes of home fires this time of year.
Traveling to visit relatives or to get away during the holidays? Do not turn off your heat when leaving! You may think you're saving money by not running the heat when no one is home, but if your pipes burst from the freezing and thawing, you could be coming home to a very costly mess! Tip: Leave the heat on low, and have someone check your house while you're gone.
During cold weather, increased use of your heater causes the home and its interior air to become dry. Using a humidifier can help add needed moisture to the air, reduce static electricity, and improve health issues like dry sinuses. But did you know a humidifier can actually save energy? That's because moist air holds heat, so you feel more comfortable at a lower heat setting.
To allow for holiday decorations, parties, or overnight guests in your home, you might need to do some re-arranging. While you may want to store stuff out-of-sight, be careful not to store anything too close to your HVAC equipment. Not only is it a safety hazard, but HVAC systems need air in order to burn properly and to draft, or carry the harmful by-products of combustion like carbon monoxide gases - out the flue. Tip: Keep all clutter at least 3 feet away from your HVAC system.
Loss of heat
A host's worse nightmare is that company is coming and you notice that the heat is not working. Check out our post "No Heat? What Should You Do?" for things you can do to diagnose and fix many heating problems. If all these tips fail to alleviate the problem, then call the professionals.
We wish you and yours a very happy, warm, and safe holiday season. Let the (h)eating begin!