Heating, Plumbing, and Cooking Tips for Thanksgiving
You’re cleaning up and getting things ready for Thanksgiving. Everything has been bought, seating and sleeping arrangements have been made, and you are confident in your cooking, until your furnace or oven suddenly stops working. What do you do?
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these sorts of problems to help ensure a successful celebration. Follow our heating, plumbing, and cooking tips to help keep your Thanksgiving or any other holiday running smoothly.
Common Holiday Hosting Problems:
- Heating Goes Out
- Oven Issues
- Sink Clog
- Toilet Clog
Many furnaces have a safety mechanism in place that detects a clogged air filter and turns itself off. Airflow problems are not only bad for energy efficiency, but indoor air quality as well. Before your guests arrive, check your air filter. If it looks dirty (no light passes through when you hold it up to the light), then replace or clean it immediately. You don’t want to be in a situation without heat.
Do a test run of your furnace now to make sure you’ll have heat for your guests.
Another quick tip: turn the thermostat down 5 degrees or so. Your cooking and the body heat from the guests will make up for the difference.
Oven Doesn’t Work
The oven is the working double duty on the holidays. To prevent problems on Thanksgiving wait to do a self-clean until after the guests have left. This is because self-cleaning functions can blow the fuse or thermostat. Although this is fairly unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t take any chances.
Make sure your door closes securely. If you notice your oven “sweating,” you may have a damaged door gasket. If it is a big leak, you cook risk undercooking all of your food and extending cooking times. Try replacing the damaged gasket with an identical one.
Sink & Toilet Clogs
Did you know that Black Friday is often the busiest day of year for plumbers. This is because of the large amount of sink and toilet clogs. Here are some tips to prevent this problem, both as a host and a guest:
Avoid putting these items down your garbage disposal:
- Fibrous foods
- Grease, fats and oils
- Egg shells
- Pasta, rice, potatoes and beans
- Non-Food Items
In fact, it may be best to assign one or two people to do all the cleaning up so no guests end up shoving their plate full of leftovers down the disposal unit. Either save the leftovers for later (mmm… turkey-cranberry sandwiches), or place them in the trash. If you do use your garbage disposal, do so in small doses and run cold water during and after use.
- Don’t put anything into the toilet that is not human waste or toilet paper. It turns out that those “flushable wipes” aren’t that flushable.
- Use a conservative amount of toilet paper, especially if it’s the thick kind.
- Give a courtesy flush (or two) to reduce odor and reduce the likelihood of a clog
If you do have a clog, do NOT flush it again for any reason! Try to find a plunger and use it first. If that doesn’t work, you can try adding a a few cups of hot water and dish soap to the mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes and try again. This should do it and you may be able to unclog the toilet yourself without anyone knowing.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Lastly and most importantly, make sure you schedule annual heating and cooling maintenance appointments for your heating, cooling, and water heating equipment.
Instead of braving the crowds on Black Friday, spend a couple of minutes winterizing your home:
- Winterization Tips
- How to Seal Air Leaks
- Furnace Noises and What They Mean
- Heat Pump or Furnace? | Hybrid Heating Systems
- Proper Programmable Thermostat Operation
- What to Know About Your Gas Furnace
- Furnace Tune-Up Checklist
- Outdoor Home Maintenance Checklist
If you do have any problems over the holidays, rely on Pacific Air Systems Heating & Cooling at 253.292.3995 for 24/7 service!
For over 30 years, residents in Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma and Gig Harbor have relied on us for on-time, quality service.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!