It’s that time of year again. Daylight saving time takes effect on Sunday, which means we’ll set our clocks forward and lose a precious hour of sleep that night. For those of us who already feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, the thought of losing time might sound stressful. But there is a silver lining to springing forward.
“Daylight saving time means more hours of sunlight and often more energy to get things done around the home,” says Dave Quandt, vice president of field operations for American Home Shield, a home warranty company.
“We often put maintenance or honey-do lists off during the cold of winter for various reasons: snow, extreme cold temperatures, or not enough sunlight hours during the day. But when spring comes around and we have seemingly more workable hours in the day, we are likely more energized to get things done.”
Now that we’re about to reap that bounty of daylight hours, it’s time to start making a list of tasks to tackle. Being proactive and getting ahead of potential issues can make for a smooth transition into springtime, when you should be out enjoying the nice weather. Here are some home maintenance tasks that are easy to handle.
1. Reverse your ceiling fans
Springtime brings warmer weather, which means you’ll probably be using your ceiling fan more often.
“With springtime and warmer months upon us, reversing the direction of ceiling fans is a simple, practical, and energy-efficient method of saving on your cooling or heating bill. During warm months, ceiling fans should be facing forward and running in a counterclockwise motion, thus forcing cool air downward,” says Claire Cole, a researcher who works on behalf of Cinch Home Services.
She says to reverse your fan, locate the direction switch near the motor, switch it in the opposite direction, and then turn the fan on to check it.
2. Inspect your HVAC filter
“Proper maintenance of your HVAC system can help you extend its life and avoid expensive repairs. Changing your HVAC filters before the spring months will help your unit run efficiently, lower your electric consumption, improve air quality indoors, and maximize your unit’s life span,” says Cole.
To check your HVAC filter, remove it and hold it up to an overhead light. If light cannot be seen through the filter, it’s time to get a new one.
3. Clean out gutters and downspouts
Changing seasons and extreme weather can leave a lot of buildup and mess around your home, especially in your gutters and downspouts.
“Dead leaves and debris have likely accumulated in these areas over the winter, and removing them from gutters is critical for allowing rainwater to flow freely away from your roof,” says Cole.
“In order to save from a potentially costly roof repair, one should wear gloves, use a ladder, and clear out…