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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: 6 Simple Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

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When the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful… it can only mean one thing. The holidays are near! This special time of year is full of family, food, and lots of fun! But hosting guests, cooking big holiday meals, and changes in the weather can put an extra strain on your home. Keep reading to find out what you can do to make your house safe and comfortable this holiday season.

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1. Protecting Pipes:

Unlike Frosty the Snowman, your pipes don’t like to be freezing. Sudden drops in the temperature can cause water to expand, resulting in busted pipes and costly emergency repairs. Luckily, there are two proactive ways to avoid this problem. One way is to insulate your pipes. For outdoor pipes and faucets, you can pick up a variety of outdoor pipe insulation covers at your local hardware store. Most are affordable and come with simple instructions to install. The insulation will keep those pipes warm and keep the water inside them from freezing. Before installing, remember to disconnect any hoses from outside faucets. Leaving the hose connected prevents the faucet from draining out properly and is the number one cause of freeze breaks. It is also a good idea during plumbing maintenance checks, to ask your technician if there are any indoor pipes that need insulation that are currently lacking. Another idea for pipe protection is to leave your faucet ‘dripping’ when freezing temperatures are in the forecast. When your family is home and the furnace is on, indoor pipes are often kept warm enough from outdoor temps in Texas. However, families often make the mistake of forgetting the dripping step when they turn their home temperature down and leave for holiday travels. The small amount of water running through your pipes to create the drip will help avoid pipes freezing solid and bursting.

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2. Holiday Cooking:

Festive holiday gatherings mean that you are probably cooking more often! Because of that, we all need a few reminders about what we should never put down the garbage disposal. Although kitchen disposals seem like they can handle anything, some things cannot be sent down the drain. These items are bones, celery, eggshells, coffee grounds, fruit pits, grease, pasta, and potato peels. They can cause the blade to wear down, or blockage and clogs. The day after Thanksgiving is often the most popular day for plumbing maintenance calls… and this is a big reason why! Refrain from dumping these items in your disposal and you will save yourself from costly plumbing repairs.

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3. Restroom Reminders:

We have all felt a bit “like the Grinch” when it comes to guests using our home’s bathroom facilities. It seems that someone always forgets what is acceptable to flush—and what is not. To maintain your “Christmas spirit” and protect your potties, create a polite sign before the holidays with a few gentle flushing reminders. You can use a printable one like these here or here, and hang it in a frame in your bathroom. This simple and tactful reminder will save your guests from the embarrassment of a clogged toilet and prevent you from facing plumbing problems.

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4. Turn Up the Heat:

When the temperatures drop outside, it’s finally time to crank on your furnace. A few reminders as we head back into ‘heater season’. First, don’t be alarmed if you notice a burning odor. After sitting unused for several months, this smell is simply caused by the heating up of the dust and dirt that has settled onto the unit while it was resting all summer. There is no need for concern unless it continues past an hour or so. Second, to be sure that your furnace will operate efficiently throughout the winter, remember to schedule an annual maintenance tune-up for your heating system with Milestone. Our Milestone inspections consist of a 21-Point Precision Tune-Up to ensure the furnace is working properly at maximum efficiently. Routine tune-ups can also help you catch small problems early before they become large and costly. 

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5. Up on the Rooftop …with Christmas Lights:

Having a festive looking home is important to many families during the holidays! Much time and expense go into exterior décor. But these beautiful displays can quickly turn dangerous if a few basic safety rules are not followed. First, replace any old or broken lights and cords. It may seem tedious but malfunctioning bulbs and cords can increase the risk of shock or fire. Next, make the switch to LED lights! Not only are LED lights cool to the touch but they also use less electricity than traditional Christmas lights- which gives you a nice break on your holiday electrical bill. Also, use Christmas light clips, instead of nails or staples, to hang outdoor Christmas lights on your roof. Clips are safer for both your shingles and the person installing them. Nails or screws can puncture the wires, causing the lights to malfunction, or worse, shock the person installing them. Finally, don’t run Christmas light strands through doors or windows if you can’t find an outside outlet to use. When closed, the pressure from the door or window can cause damage to the cord and lead to breaks or fraying, making them a safety hazard for fires and electrical shocks.

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6. Home for the Holidays:

If you will be away, visiting friends and family during the holidays, make a plan to keep your home safe. Install a home monitoring system that allows you to view live video of your home from the convenience of your phone. Our trusted Milestone technicians can help you choose a program that works best for your needs and your budget. Another way to keep your home safe is by completing preventative maintenance before you leave town. Have your home’s heating, cooling, and plumbing systems checked regularly. That way you can rest assured that your home is less likely to face any unexpected problems while you are away. Finally, arrange for a trusted neighbor to pick up any mail or packages. Keeping up the appearance of ‘being home’ is one of the most important things you can do while gone.

Your home is the heart of your family! Following the tips above will ensure that your home is a safe and comfortable place for creating holiday memories. Contact Milestone now for all your cooling, heating, plumbing, electrical, and security system needs for the upcoming holiday season!

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If you looked at all the information available, you may draw that conclusion yourself! Milestone has grown to where it is because of our never ending focus on customer satisfaction! Milestone is ready to meet any electrical, cooling, heating, plumbing, drain cleaning or window cleaning need you may have and exceed all expectations. We offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee to show our customers that we’ll stop at nothing to give each one of them a superb customer care experience! We love being called the “favorite Dallas Technician” and “Fort Worth Technician!”

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