When you turn back the clocks this fall, give your house a once-over with this autumn to-do list.
t’s easy to forget regular home maintenance checks. But make them a part of your time-change routine, and you can help protect your family and house from a host of preventable problems.
- Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Then test each detector according to the maker’s instructions.
- Give light fixtures some attention. Remove light globes and clean them to remove dust and bugs. Also consider replacing incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
- Close off unused rooms. It could help save money on heating costs during winter and air conditioning costs in the summer. Energy.gov suggests keeping the rooms at least 55 degrees F, though, to prevent any pipes from freezing.
- Check your meds. Get rid of expired medicines — but before you throw them in the trash, research safe, responsible disposal methods for each medication. Restock basic over-the-counter items like cough syrups, decongestants, antihistamines, and fever and pain reducers.
- Whip appliances into shape. Get the best performance from your kitchen appliances by cleaning them according to the manufacturer’s directions. Spot problems by using inexpensive oven and fridge/freezer thermometers to check temps.
- Check your furnace filter. Energy.gov states that a clogged air filter can restrict airflow and increase energy consumption between 5 and 15 percent. Depending on the type of filter your furnace uses, clean or replace it now — and at least monthly thereafter.
- Reprogram your thermostat. Be sure to change it from summer to winter settings before you turn the heat on, and vice versa.