It’s that time of year, alright – the time of year when you’re alternately seized by eager anticipation, nervous anxiety and a fleeting sense of dread, all at the same time – time for holiday preparation!
What else could it be but “holiday time,” the time of year when family members, friends and other holiday guests descend on your happy home.
Before you plan an itinerary to keep your guests entertained during their visit, you’ll want to ensure they’ll be comfortable in your home. And this requires some time and planning.
Luckily, Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning has some experience in this department – and not just with air conditioning issues, as you might expect. The Charlie’s team has guests who visit Florida over the holidays, too, and so they know that after tending to some general maintenance tasks, you’ll want to focus on the rooms your guest are likely to spend a great deal of time in throughout their visit. And if you think it’s your kitchen (a good guess), think about the other place where they’re even more likely to pull up a seat: your guest bathrooms.
Put first things first
Your guests may be accustomed to Florida’s warm temperatures. Or they might be coming from a colder climate and will have to adjust their internal thermostat. In either case, you should do everything you can to ensure that your air conditioner delivers the comfort it is designed to provide.
Get started by:
- Scheduling your winter air conditioning tune-up with Charlie’s. We will inspect, clean, lubricate and make any minor adjustments necessary to ensure that your system works efficiently and reliably.
- Checking your filter and replacing it if it’s so dirty that you can no longer see through it. These two maintenance steps are two of the most important you can take to “prevent future problems and unwanted repair costs,” says the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Identifying air leaks in your home and sealing them with caulk or weather stripping. Your home’s “envelope” – the walls, windows and doors – can be formidable trouble spots. In fact, “if you added up all the leaks, holes and gaps in a typical home’s envelope, it would be the equivalent of having a window open every day of the year,” the department says. (https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing) There are plenty of other places to look, too, and it’s worth investigating every one by following the department’s suggestions. (http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/air-sealing-your-home)
- Inspecting the insulation in your attic and crawl space. If you can see the floor joists, you probably need more insulation. And if you see bare spots, low spots or declines near the eaves, you probably need more, too. Charlie’s can help you with this crucial home improvement project, from start to finish.
- Checking the veracity of your ducts, which probably underwent quite a workout over the summer. Look for and repair cracks, gaps, holes and disconnects – or run the risk of all the conditioned air you’re paying for escaping wherever it can.
Turn to your guest bathrooms
With this basic but crucial maintenance tasks behind you, you can concentrate on making your home additionally comfortable by focusing on your guest bathrooms. It doesn’t take much to transform your run-of-the-mill, functional bathroom into a guest’s mini-retreat. Plus, you can load up on most amenities at a dollar store and still appear to have splurged:
- Soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner – maybe in “his” and “hers” fragrances – in the bathtub and shower.
- Toiletries that your guests might have forgotten to pack: toothpaste, toothbrushes, cotton balls, cotton swabs and disposable razors. Place the amenities in holiday gift bins for an extra special touch.
- Bath salts, bath brushes and sea sponges, placed in a wicker “spa” basket. Or, if you have room, consider hanging a stocking, imprinted with your guest’s name, from a towel bar.
- Holiday wash cloths, hand towels and bath towels. (If you can find them, and don’t have too many guests staying with you, consider linens with monogrammed initials.)
- Scented soaps, pillar candles or a bowl of potpourri – as long as they emit the same fragrance. (Try vanilla, a soft aroma.)
- Add a stylish, thoughtful or gender-specific feature, such as a magnifying vanity mirror for women or a bin of sports magazines for men.
Despite your best efforts, it’s possible that you might experience an air conditioner problem or breakdown during your guests’ stay. If this happens, know that the Charlie’s crew is one phone call away, ready to fix whatever has gone wrong, at any time of the day or night. At this time of year, everybody can use a helper. Santa has elves; you have Charlie’s.