HVAC and Holiday Trees

Holiday Tree

What do your HVAC system and holiday decorations have in common? A lot more than you think, since all that holiday cheer can wreak havoc on your heating and cooling if you’re not careful.

For starters, think about where your holiday tree will be featured if that’s part of your winter tradition. Too often, the “best spot” is right over a vent or a little too close to a heating source. After all, it’s one of the few areas of your home that isn’t covered with a rug or furniture, and there’s plenty of open space. However, that space is there for a reason.

Trees need to be kept hydrated no matter what. If possible, get a freshly cut tree and do the “needle test” before taking it home. Needles should be flexible, they shouldn’t break, and you should be able to run your hand down the branches without many needles coming off.

A hydrated tree that’s watered daily drastically minimizes the odds of a December house fire. However, so does keeping it away from heating sources.

Deck the Halls (Safely)

Trees aren’t the only threat to your HVAC system. Garlands, wreaths and all those other bells and whistles you bring out during the holidays also can block vents or be a fire hazard. These items also may have been collecting dust for the past year, and that dust can head straight to the vents.

Many homeowners benefit from changing air filters more regularly this time of year. Check your filter before decorating, and weekly until the decorations are taken down.

Newer homes usually have furnaces or boilers safely tucked away in supply closets. That might not be the case with older homes. Ensure there’s still a three-foot wide (or more) clear area around these systems. These areas shouldn’t be used for temporary storage of holiday décor and boxes.

The same goes for space heaters or any feature that’s hot to the touch. Summers and December are the most common times for house fires, which are often preventable.

Heating Things Up

It’s common to want to feel warm and cozy, especially when it’s snowing outside. However, keep your temperature in check if you have living plants (like a tree) indoors. Too much heat dries them out, and you’ll have pine needles scattered all over your floor, heading straight to the vents.

Instead, make use of those ugly holiday sweaters you’ve been collecting. Test out your new flannel pajamas, and bake more cookies for Santa instead of constantly turning up the thermostat. You’re now sharing your home with a pretty big living entity, and it doesn’t like the heat as much as you do.

Decking the halls also should include a tuneup for your HVAC system if you missed it last autumn. Make sure your home is holiday-ready by calling Roberts Mechanical, your local HVAC leader.