Take a look at the most common things that can go wrong when you have guests and learn how to prevent them.
Imagine you’re preparing to host your annual
holiday party, and you’re past the point of no return. The veggies and
meats have been bought. Guests are already braving busy airports and
crowded highways to get to your home—and then your oven won’t turn on.
Your home-cooked meal has quickly turned into a microwave dinner.
That’s just one of many hosting nightmares that can end your holiday
party before it even begins. Thankfully, some of the most damaging
mishaps easily can be avoided. We collected five of the most prevalent
issues and give you preventative tips to keep your holiday party on
Problem: The oven doesn’t heat
For any holiday occasion, the oven is the most important appliance in
your house. If it fails to work, the centerpiece of your meal could go
from roasted beef, ham, duck, or Tofurky to Peking Duck from the local
Chinese takeout joint.
How to avoid:
There are any number of reasons a stove can break, but one common
cause of disaster is easy to prevent. Don’t self-clean your oven until
AFTER the holidays. You risk blowing a fuse or a thermostat, and
tracking down an oven technician around the holidays can be tough.
Problem: The kitchen sink clogs
The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest of the year for plumbers.
The prime cause of this clog-a-thon is the mistreatment of drains when
cooking holiday feasts. We hope your Thanksgiving went well, and that
you avoid clog-a-thons for the rest of the holidays.
How to avoid:
Fats and cooking oils can solidify in your pipes, so never dispose of them in your kitchen sink.
If you have a garbage disposal, make sure it’s running before
anything goes in it, and never feed it any stringy, fibrous, or starchy
foods like poultry skins or potato peels.
To fix, don’t rely on chemical drain-clearing products that can harm
your pipes. Use a snake instead, available for $15 at your local
hardware store. Best to keep one on hand.
Problem: The heat goes out
As the party’s host, you’re supposed to hang guests’ coats—not
apologize to them for having to keep them on. A lack of heat can stop a
holiday party dead in its tracks.
How to avoid:
The key to avoiding freezing your party to a standstill is regular
maintenance of your HVAC. Every 90 days, a new one-inch pleated furnace
filter should be installed. If you haven’t done it in a while, now’s a
good time to replace it.
Also inspect insulation on refrigerant lines that are leading into your house. Replace them if they're missing or damaged.
Problem: The toilet stops up
Toilets have a way of clogging up at the worst times, such as during
parties and when you have overnight guests. This is especially true if
you have a low-flow toilet from the early 1990s.
How to avoid:
Don’t flush anything other than sewage and toilet paper down the
toilet. And there’s nothing wrong with putting up a polite note to
remind your guests to do the same.
Problem: The fridge doesn’t cool
Without a properly functioning refrigerator, your meat could get
contaminated, your dairy-based treats could go sour, and you may not be
able to save your yummy leftovers. To avoid discovering a warm fridge
after it’s too late, take these simple precautions.
How to avoid:
Get a thermometer for your refrigerator to make sure each shelf
stays below 40 degrees and you can be aware of any temperature changes.
Also make sure the condenser coils located on the back of the unit
or beneath it are free to breathe. Coils blocked from circulating air by
cereal boxes atop the fridge, or dirtied by dust or pet hair can
prevent a fridge from keeping cool.
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