It’s that time of year: We’ve had our first (and second) snowfall, malls around the Twin Cities are putting up red and green decorations, and our social calendars are quickly filling up for every weekend between now and mid-January. The holidays are just around the corner.
Hosting family and friends over the holidays is a lot of fun, but it can also add an extra layer of stress during the holiday season. There’s food to prepare, rooms to clean, and decorations to hang. We can’t help you with the turkey, but we can offer a few tips on how to make sure everything goes smoothly with your HVAC systems this holiday season.
HVAC Guide for the Holidays
Turn down your thermostat.
There’s nothing cozier than a warm house full of your favorite people. But if you don’t turn down your thermostat before your guests arrive, you might find that your house becomes a bit too cozy. More people in the house means more warmth—not to mention that if you’ve got the oven or stove going, those appliances are contributing their own heat. Turn down the temp to compensate for the extra heat and keep everybody comfortable.
Create a shower schedule.
This might sound crazy at first, but creating a shower schedule for you and your guests will help you avoid running out of hot water. A water heater can only dispense so much hot water before it needs to refill, and anyone trying to shower when that happens is going to get an unpleasant shock!
Figure out how many gallons your water heater holds, then calculate how long the water will last by assuming that a 50-gallon water heater will run out of hot water in 15 minutes and takes 40 minutes to refill and reheat. A larger water heater will last longer, but will also take longer to refill and reheat. Plan accordingly!
Prevent circuit overload.
Another danger of having extra people staying in your house is circuit overload. Overloading your circuit means that the electrical demands you’re placing on a circuit exceed the amperage limits of that circuit. This can easily happen when you have more people in your house who might all be trying to blow-dry their hair or shave with an electric razor at the same time.
To prevent circuit overload, find out what electrical load your circuit can handle (100amp vs 200amp, for example) and identify which outlets feed into the same circuits. Politely warn your guests not to use multiple devices on those outlets at once.
Change your air filters before each holiday.
You definitely don’t want any unpleasant surprises from your heating system while you have guests in the house. Air filters should be changed once a month, so if you replace them right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’ll make sure that your guests have nice clean air to breathe. Maintenance tasks like changing air filters are easy to forget in the chaos of the holiday season, so add these to your “To Do” list now!
Prepare your oven for the big day.
Chances are, if you’re hosting guests this holiday season, you’re going to be cracking open your oven once or twice. When you have a house full of hungry guests, the last thing you want is a snafu with your oven. Mastering a few oven preparation and efficiency tips will ensure that everything goes smoothly on the big day. Give your oven a thorough cleaning beforehand, recalibrate the temperature, preheat for longer than you think you need to, and conserve energy by baking multiple dishes at once.
If you follow this guide, you should be all set for a happy holiday with no unwelcome surprises from your HVAC systems. In the unfortunate event that something does go wrong, give us a call. Our techs are available from 7 am to 10 pm every day.