Piling in the car and driving or (flying) to grandma’s house is a no-go this year. Chalk it up — along with hosting a festive holiday bash — to another casualty of the pandemic.
For many of us, it’s been a trying year. Here at Sila, we’re grateful for our steadfast, hard-working staff and the support and trust we receive from our loyal customers.
Because your holiday season may unfold a bit differently than usual, we’ve got some important home comfort and safety reminders to consider. As you’re likely to be home more often, here’s some helpful advice to help keep your home’s HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems running smoothly all season long. After all, the holidays are often stressful enough without a surprise plumbing, electrical, or HVAC malfunction to deal with.
5 Home Safety Tips for a Stress-Less Holiday
- Change Your Furnace Filter: Dirty and clogged filters can cause airflow issues, higher energy costs, and even system failure. Be sure to replace your air filter this holiday season to breathe easier with better indoor air quality and some savings on your energy bill.
- Be Smart About Plumbing: With an abundance of clogged drains, overflowing toilets and broken garbage disposals, December is inevitably a busy time for plumbers. Even if you aren’t expecting a visit from Cousin Eddie (or other guests) this season, consider scheduling a home plumbing inspection to help you get in front of any major problems that could arise at a very inopportune time. Additionally, avoid putting anything into your garbage disposal that will clog it, such as grease, meat bones, produce peels, and cornhusks. Same goes with the toilet. Remember not to flush cotton balls, swabs, feminine products, and anything else that causes clogs.
- Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Colorless, odorless carbon monoxide gas is potentially fatal when inhaled. Once you’ve installed a carbon monoxide detector in your home, be certain to check batteries monthly and change them at least once a year. Here’s a helpful tip: If you change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector on the first Saturday of December, add the event to your favorite online calendar and program it to repeat annually. That way, you’ll be reminded every year on the same date to change the batteries.
- Avoid Overloading Electrical Outlets: Overloaded outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. To prevent this, inspect all electrical decorations for damage before use, including cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections. Be sure to plug only one high-wattage line into each outlet at a time, and never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. With more than three you may blow a fuse, or worse, cause a fire. We recommend replacing incandescent strings with LED lights. LEDs are not only more efficient and longer-lasting, but they also don’t get hot to the touch, so they’re safer to use in and around your Christmas tree, wreaths, and garland.
- Keep Clearance Around Heat Sources: If you are burning a fireplace, operating an electric or kerosene space heater, or using some other source of heat, ensure that all combustible materials are at least three feet from the heat source. Combustibles include furniture, curtains, gifts with wrapping paper, the Christmas tree, and anything else that can catch fire easily and burn quickly. Many holiday fires are caused when combustible objects are left too close to a heat source. And because candles cause more than 15,000 house fires each year, we recommend swapping out the waxy variety for battery-operated candles.
Schedule a Pre-Holiday Check-Up with Sila
Before the bustle of the holiday season sets in, schedule an appointment with one of Sila’s home comfort experts. We’ll give your home the care it deserves and ensure all your systems are working in tip-top shape.
However you choose to celebrate this holiday season, don’t let a malfunctioning HVAC, plumbing, or electrical system dampen this special time with your family. Follow these safety tips to have a safe, happy holiday season and a great start to the new year!