It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Though with some of your relatives visiting, it may be hard to remember that. One of the most common complaints during family gatherings is the house being too hot or too cold. If you are lucky enough to host Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years celebrations at your own home you will probably struggle with older relatives telling you to turn up the heat in your “freezing” home while you sweat into a puddle working in the kitchen. Running to change the thermostat to keep everyone comfortable isn’t time or energy efficient! Its better to keep to your normal temperature and provide other options to accommodate visitors. Here are 4 tips to make your home comfortable for everyone this holiday season:

1. Set yourself up for success with a properly functioning HVAC system

A broken furnace could spell disaster for your holiday gathering so be sure to get your Fall HVAC inspection scheduled before the big day. Your technician will be sure that your system is in working condition and alert you to any potential problems so you can deal with them BEFORE relatives arrive. If for some reason you can’t get your Fall inspection done before the holidays, at least be sure to change your filters. Dirty filters are a top cause of poor furnace performance or failure. Next, be sure to insulate your windows and doors; there is a wide range of options from simply buying a door draft blocker and putting some rope caulk in your windows to replacing windows and doors completely. You can also put up heavier curtains during the cold months to help block out drafts.

2. Create a warm and cool area for people to congregate

With a wide age range, it is inevitable that some people will be too hot and others too cold…so make different spots in your home for each preference to be comfortable. Create an outdoor getaway for those who need a breath of cool air: Arrange comfortable seating on your deck with tables for setting drinks and food on. For those who are usually cold, make the living room warmer with a portable heater and/or some throw blankets. It also helps to have this space away from doors that open outside to prevent drafts when people come in and out.

3. Cook ahead of time

The kitchen can quickly become the hottest and most crowded area of your home during holiday gatherings. Cut down on the heat by doing cooking ahead of time then get out of the kitchen and enjoy your guests. You could even cook outside! Deep frying or grilling your turkey are both trendy ways to keep your kitchen cool.

4. Give overnight guests options

Daytime guests are one thing but overnight guests are a lot harder to keep comfortable. The key is to provide options! Proper bedding is essential to keep your guests comfortable; put some extra blankets in their room and consider flannel sheets for extra warmth.  A small bedside fan or a portable heater are also great things to have in your guest room. Even though heaters aren’t good for constant use, they are perfect for personal comfort like this. Always be sure to place heaters away from curtains and bedding and be sure that your guest knows how to operate it safely.