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Hosting Tips for the Holidays – How to Keep Everyone Warm and Safe

Maintaining the perfect level of warmth during winter is essential for anything from hosting the perfect holiday party to relaxing with the family by the fireplace on movie night. At Garland Insulating, we want everyone to make the most of the holiday season, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you keep your house warm, toasty, and safe.

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1. Insulate, insulate, insulate!

Did you know that 70% of household energy consumption stems from replacing heat lost through the roof? Make sure your attic is well insulated. You can also trap in the heat with weather stripping on all doors and windows.

2. Simple Steps

On sunny days, keep your blinds/curtains open to allow the sun’s natural heat into your home, then at night, close them for an extra layer of insulation. Additionally, make sure your furniture is not blocking vents, otherwise your heater cannot do its job. If you like to cook, consider meals that require the oven, that extra heat will make your home feel cozier.

3. Maintenance

Check your heating system to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible. Insulating or upgrading your heater may save big bucks in the long run. If your thermostat is programmable, set the temperatures to cooler at night and warmer in the day. Sleeping in cooler temperatures is recommended, and this way your heater doesn’t work overtime all night.

4. Check the Chimney

To minimize soot buildup and reduce the risk of a fire, have your chimney swept once a year. A clean chimney is safer, and they will check for structural damage that could be aggravated by the heat of a fire. Make sure your chimney has a cap to keep out any birds, squirrels, rain, and debris.

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5. Stoke the Flames

Before lighting a wood burning stove, open the damper or flue completely. To start the fire, avoid flammable liquids and any unnatural kindling. Then, when building the fire, choose dense, dry wood or a manufactured log, as burning these results in less soot buildup within the chimney. Place these logs towards the rear of the fireplace to minimize the risk of sparks and embers popping out onto the carpet, furniture, or a family member. Use a fireplace screen if you have it, and if you don’t, consider investing in one.

6. Stay Safe

First off, never leave a fire unattended or under the supervision of young children, and teach your children fire safety early on. In this case, the phrase “Better late than never!” does not apply. As you enjoy your fire, keep the flames to a controlled burn. Adding too much wood can lead to an unmanageable fire that is too hot and too large.

During the holidays, keep the decorations away from the fireplace. You may want to consider moving the Christmas tree to the opposite end of the room, and while a fire is burning, remove any decorations or stockings from the mantel.

The most important safety tips we can offer are these: keep a fire extinguisher handy and absolutely make certain that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operational.

7. Keep Warm

One of the best ways to save money is to focus on keeping yourself warm, rather than your home. Don’t be shy with the layers, so keep your favorite sweaters, hoodies, and socks on hand and enjoy snuggling up with your heaviest quilts and blankets.

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Happy Holidays!

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can keep your house warm this winter, contact Garland Insulating for more information today.