Dec. 14, 2016
With holiday guests arriving soon, homeowners should prepare their homes for a high volume of people within their homes during the cold holiday season.
"It's a bad day when you have a house full of people, it's freezing outside and your heating system or boiler goes out and your insulation isn't up to date," says Eric Corbett, president and owner of Larry & Sons, a air conditioning, heating, and plumbing company serving Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland and surrounding counties.
"Not only will you and your family be hit with the cold, but with extra people around the house, the pipes take more strain."
Corbett offers the following tips on how to avoid a last-minute repair during the holiday season.
- Check home insulation. Checking the insulation in your home and replacing it is necessary for keeping a home warm. This is especially important for your attic. Homes tend to experience significant heat loss through the top floor ceiling.
- Dripping faucets, running toilets. Look around the pipes under the sink or under the toilet for wet spots that indicate leaking. A leak can become a costly problem. With proper detection, the issue can be resolved quickly.
- Slow-running drains. Clogged drains are easy to avoid if your drains remain clean. The Kitchen sink is a revolving door during the holidays and is the most vulnerable for getting clogged.
- Frozen pipes. As the temperatures drop, the odds increase in favor of freezing and potentially bursting pipes. Wrapping pipes in heat tape will keep pipes warm. If you go out of town, keep your thermostat at 65 degrees to prevent pipes from bursting.
- Checking your furnace. One of the best ways to make sure the heating system will work properly during the winter months is to regularly change the filter. An old filter can cause the system to put out poor airflow, which will hike up the energy bills. If a furnace rapidly turns on and off, rather than blowing through a full cycle as it should, or if it starts to overheat, call a professional to address the problem before it becomes major.
- Upgrade your water heater. During the holidays, house guests can easily deplete an entire hot water heater tank. Upgrading to a tankless water heater might require a larger initial investment but can save a lot of money in the long run.
"Ideally, we recommend that you have your heating system inspected and tuned up before it really gets cold," says Corbett. "A professional home service company can do a complete home check and catch potential problems before you have that late-night emergency."
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