Easy maintenance you can do around the house


You probably know the drill: spring forward, fall back. Oh, and you’re supposed to check the batteries in your smoke detectors while you’re at it.

But, the twice-a-year checkups and updates around your home don’t have to stop there.

Now that daylight saving time is ending, at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, here’s a list of things to do in addition to setting your clocks back one hour. (except Arizona folks)

These tasks should help you get ready for the seasons ahead:

  • Let’s start with those batteries. Don’t just check them. Go ahead and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s a good time to change the batteries in your flashlights and weather alert radios, too, if you have them. But, don’t toss the old batteries, assuming they still have some life left. Use them in toys or electronic devices until they go dead. Then recycle them.
  • While you’re checking clocks, keep an eye out for light bulbs that might need to be replaced. This is a good time to swap out old conventional bulbs with modern energy-efficient ones.
  • Often overlooked, furnace filters should be replaced regularly. This is one of the most effective ways to increase the lifespan of your furnace.
  • Clean out your clothes dryer filter and hoses to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Check to see that your fire extinguishers are still pressurized and functional.
  • Go through your first aid and emergency kits and replace expired items. This includes the emergency kit for your pet.
  • Switch the direction of your ceiling fans. In the spring and summer, they should turn counterclockwise, to force cooler air down; in the fall and winter, they should turn clockwise, to draw cooler air up and force warmer air down.
  • Check household plumbing—pipes under your sinks and toilets, in the basement, behind the washer, showers, and tubs—to ensure there are no small leaks and that they will get adequate heat once the weather turns cold.
  • Give your cars a thorough going-over. Look for burned-out lights, worn-out wiper blades, fluids due for replacement. Is it time for an oil change? How’s your tire pressure, and what shape are the treads in? This is also a good time to restock your car with winter safety essentials, such as a windshield scraper and chains.
  • Update virus and malware protection software on your computers.
  • If you have a home inventory, this passes through the house is a perfect opportunity to update it with any new acquisitions. If you don’t have one yet, there’s no better time to get started.

Finally, this is a great time to review and, if needed, update your homeowner’s insurance policy. Remember, you’ll need to fall back on your home insurance if you have a covered loss, such as a fire or hail damage, so be sure you have the coverage you want.


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