Preparing Your Heating and Plumbing for Holiday Guests

The holidays are approaching, and you may have several guests coming over the course of the next few months. Whether you’re welcoming your grandmother, your distant cousins, or your adult children, you need to prepare your home for the sudden increase in occupants.

Paying attention to your utilities can help you avoid problems and have a relaxing holiday season. Use the tips below to get your home ready for your guests this season.

Preparing Your Heater

Your guests won’t feel comfortable in your home if your heater isn’t working efficiently. Various problems could decrease the efficiency of your heater, meaning it has to work harder to heat your home. This can lower your heater’s lifespan and increase your utility bills.

Have an HVAC technician examine your heater for common problems like:

  • Clogged air filters or burners
  • A broken ignition or pilot
  • A broken thermostat

An HVAC technician can address these problems and get your heater working again.

Also, consider that each guest may have a unique temperature preference. For example, maybe Grandma likes to stay toasty warm but Aunt Mary wants to sleep in a cool room. Consider purchasing a zone temperature control heater, which allows you to set different rooms in the home to different temperatures.

Preparing Your Water Heater

With more people in the home, your water heater needs to work harder to supply everyone’s hot water needs. Therefore, have an HVAC technician check your water heater to make sure it’s functioning at peak efficiency.

The technician can catch common problems like:

  • A broken heating element
  • Debris buildup
  • Leaking

If your water heater can’t keep up with your family and guests’ water needs, consider purchasing a new water heater.

Your best bet is to choose a storage tank water heater with a larger tank. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, but they only provide about 3.5 gallons of water per minute. They can’t always support two uses of hot water at once-so they may not allow Uncle Albert to shower while you’re washing the dishes.

You could also purchase an additional water heater to help you meet your home’s demands.

Cleaning Your Air and Water

Air and water quality is always important, but is especially so when you have guests. Some of your guests may have allergies or other health conditions that make clean air and water more important.

One way to keep your home’s air clean is to replace your heater’s filters every few months. Make sure to do so before your guests arrive.

You could also purchase appliances that improve the air quality of your home. A humidifier puts moisture back into the air, helping reduce the effects of dry winter weather. An air purifier removes contaminants from the air, helping people with allergies and asthma breathe easier.

Improving your water quality can also help your guests feel more comfortable. A water treatment system removes contaminants from your water and makes it safer to drink. Similarly, a water softener removes hardening minerals. This helps your appliances operate more efficiently, and a water softener also reduces the risk of clogs.

Preparing Your Drains

When you have guests using all the sinks in your home, you don’t want to have to deal with any clogs.

One way to clear out a drain before your guests arrive is to pour ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup white vinegar, and ½ cup salt in it. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then pour boiling water down the drain.

If your drain still has clogs, backups, or other problems, have a plumber address the issue. There could be a clog deep in the pipes that require special equipment to remove.


These steps will help prepare your heating and plumbing systems for a sudden influx of guests. Address these problems now with an HVAC specialist’s help so you can relax during the holiday season.