PhotoHaving a home filled with visitors can add to the joy of the season, but extra bodies can mean extra work for your house. While your guests are delighting in your decor and enjoying a home-cooked holiday meal, your home’s appliances may be struggling to keep up.

"This time of year is when your house takes the biggest beating," says Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services. "Visitors, decorations, increased use of appliances — all put bigger strain on a house.”

To make sure your home can handle an influx of holiday visitors, it’s important to check your appliances before the first guests arrive. Making sure that all of your home’s most frequently used appliances are ready to work hard may help reduce your anxiety when seasonal gatherings are underway.

Appliances to check

When friends and relatives you rarely see are in your home, sequestering yourself away to fix a faulty appliance is likely the last thing you’ll want to do. To reduce the likelihood of an appliance going haywire when it’s most needed, Puzio recommends taking care of these tasks ahead of time.
  • Clean the microwave. Prepare your microwave for extra use by cleaning its interior and rotating tray. Also, make sure there’s no dust or grease clogging up your microwave’s air vents.
  • Inspect the refrigerator. Your refrigerator will probably be opened and closed many more times than usual over the holidays. Make sure it’s guest-ready by checking for loose door handles, cleaning blocked vents, and replacing burned out lights.
  • Check your drains. Make sure your drains are flowing freely. If they aren’t, try to figure out why and get them cleaned.
  • Consider a tankless water heater. Hot water is an important commodity when guests are present. For this reason, it might be a good time to make the switch to a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters provide an endless supply of hot water and only heat the water as you need it.
  • Inspect the dishwasher. Where there are holiday meals, there are holiday dishes. Check your dishwasher’s strainer/drain area in the bottom of the wash tub, remove food debris, and wipe off detergent residue.
  • Take care of the toilet. If your toilet is malfunctioning, be sure to get it working before guests arrive.
One chore you can skip? Cleaning the oven. Because the self-cleaning cycle is so stressful on ovens, Puzio says attempting to get your oven gleaming could do more harm than good. Instead, give the top burner elements a quick cleaning before and after the holidays.

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