Daylight saving time falls on Sunday, November 6, 2022, this autumn. On this day, clocks “fall back” in every state except Arizona and Hawaii, which don’t observe daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time is the perfect opportunity to manage commonly overlooked home maintenance and safety checklist tasks.
What follows are a few to-dos to address before or after this time change.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of every five home fire deaths result from homes with no smoke alarms or homes with nonfunctioning smoke alarms.
As a result, checking your smoke alarm monthly and replacing the battery at least once a year are must-dos to keep you and your family safe.
Likewise, you should check your carbon monoxide detector and replace the batteries to ensure that your home doesn’t fill with carbon monoxide, an invisible and odorless gas that can kill. Carbon monoxide is created by any appliances that burn fuel, so take a moment to check that your gas appliance vents, such as the furnace filter, are free of debris to process these gases properly.
Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet
Most of us don’t think about the expiration dates for our over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Take this time to go through your medicine cabinet and first aid kit. Check the expiration dates and safely dispose of your medication by dropping them off at your local pharmacy, police department, or other nearby locations that accept old medications.
Make a list of any medications that you’re missing and pick them up now. You’ll thank yourself the next time you catch a cold and already have cough drops on hand!
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Save money during winter by reversing the motor on your ceiling fans. When they operate clockwise, warm air is forced down from the ceiling, keeping you and your family warmer without turning up the heater.
Reversing your ceiling fans can reduce the demand on your heating system and allow you to keep your thermostat set to a degree or two cooler, saving you money on your utility bills.
Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks increase your energy costs as cold air leaks in, forcing your HVAC system to work overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature inside.
Check your doors and windows for drafts and air leaks. Repair any air leaks with high-quality weather stripping or caulking to prevent cold air from entering your home.
Drain the Water Heater
Water heaters need to be drained yearly to prevent sediment buildup. Sediment may clog your water heater, preventing the water heater from running adequately. Completing this task at the same time of year, like daylight saving time, helps you do this task consistently and avoid expensive repairs resulting from sediment buildup.
Always check your manufacturer’s directions on properly draining your water heater or contact a local professional to have it cleaned and drained.
Prepare Your Trees and Garden
As temperatures drop, many of your trees and plants may need some tender loving care and extra protection from the cold.
Begin by watering your trees thoroughly, then wrap trees with thin bark in tree wrap to give them extra protection against the cold. Add several inches of mulch to the base of your tree and plants. If you have potted plants, bring them indoors. Otherwise, cover your plants as much as possible to prevent the frost from killing them off.
Flip Your Mattress
Did you know that you should flip or rotate your mattress every three to six months? Mattresses can wear unevenly and develop lumps when they aren’t rotated.
At the beginning and end of daylight saving time, flip or rotate your mattress to prevent this from happening to you. You can also rotate your box springs to extend the life of your mattress even more.
Inspect Your Fire Extinguishers
A functional fire extinguisher is crucial to your home’s fire safety plan.
Examine your fire extinguishers and check that they’re in good condition. Check the pull pin and tamper seal first. Replace the fire extinguisher if the pin is gone or the seal is broken. Then, examine the fire extinguisher for signs of damage or debris in the nozzles and hoses. If there is corrosion or damage, replace it.
Lastly, ensure that everyone in your household knows where the fire extinguishers are. The location should be easily accessible and close to areas where fires are most likely to occur, such as the kitchen or garage.
Have Your Furnace Inspected
Your furnace should be professionally cleaned and inspected annually to ensure it’s running efficiently and safely. Schedule a professional inspection today and set up a calendar alert to remind you to change your furnace filter regularly.
Sometimes it feels like we have a million tasks to stay on top of as homeowners. However, having a regular routine and inspection time, such as daylight saving time, is an excellent reminder to keep yourself on top of these crucial tasks.
After all, you don’t want to slack on tasks that are crucial to your family’s safety or maintenance tasks that could lead to higher energy costs and prematurely broken appliances.