If you’re anything like me, you might need reminders to make sure regular household maintenance tasks don’t get skipped. Since many of these items will help keep your family safe and/or save money long-term, it’s extra important that we don’t ignore them.
Thankfully, in most of the United States, we’ve got built-in triggers twice a year – the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time!
There have been campaigns for years to change your smoke detector & carbon monoxide detector batteries when you change your clocks, which is a great habit.
Since many of us have those down, I’m adding on 5 more. Don’t worry, they’re pretty easy too!
Check your Fire Extinguisher
Make sure it’s rated for type A, B, & C fires, easy to access, and that the gauge is still in the green zone. If it’s not, some models can be recharged and others have to be replaced. Your local fire station is a great resource if you have questions about yours.
If you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your house, order one before you go to sleep tonight! I hope none of you ever need it, but better safe than sorry, right?
Clean the Dryer Vents
Speaking of fires, so many household fires come from the dryer. Cleaning the lint trap before every load is a good start, but that pesky lint still sneaks into the machine and into the vents. Vacuum out the inside, under the lint trap, and also inside the vents on the back.
There are dryer vent cleaning kits you can get to help, or you can even have a local professional come out (just Google dryer vent cleaning and your city).
Give Your Vacuum New Life
I have a confession.
We have been vacuum-care slackers in the past, and that meant we were burning through vacuums every 18 months (dang dog hair!). It was a total waste of money, and I don’t even want to think about all our old vacuums taking up unnecessary space in a landfill. 🙁
Turns out, they would have lasted WAY longer if we had been changing the belts, bags, and filters at the right intervals. Or at all. Letting the filters get clogged wasn’t good for the vacuum, or good for us since more dust was left in the carpet.
From here on out, I’m committed to doing our vacuum maintenance every time I change the clock to keep our fresh home happening.
Since vacuums can lose suction due to a clogged filter, filters should be replaced every 3-6 months, so at a minimum each time we spring forward and fall back.
Belts should be replaced one a year, so you can start now and replace them each November when Daylight Savings time ends.
If your model uses bags, a full bag is another big reason vacuums lose suction. Make sure you are replacing them even more often – every 1-2 months at a minimum.
We’ve always found Filtrete™ air filters to do the best job for our HVAC returns, so it was a no-brainer to use them when we were ready to change the vacuum filter like the responsible adults we’re trying to be. Like the HVAC filters, Filtrete™ Vacuum Filters help improve the air quality of your home by trapping small particles, dust, pollen and pet dander.
*Always check your model number before ordering. You’ll see two vacuums in the following photos and the filter above is the perfect fit for the blue Navigator Lift-Away. The white Rotator model uses a slightly different size.
If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I’m OBSESSED with our Shark vacuums and would probably bury them in the backyard after a short memorial service if I ever lost one, so I NEED to take care of them to avoid turning crazy-lady.
Luckily, it’s a simple process!
No matter what brand and model vacuum you have, there is a good chance you can find a Filtrete™ filter, belt or bag (if your vacuum has one) made just for you.
I found the filter I needed at FiltreteVac.com and had it delivered – much easier than trying to remember my vacuum model number at the store. I picked a HEPA filter because it can help trap particles 75 times smaller than a human hair, including 99.97% of dust mite debris, animal dander, molds and pollen. But, if you prefer shopping local, you can find them at retailers nationwide such as Ace Hardware, Best Buy, Meijer, True Value and Do It Best.
Changing the filter was as simple as opening a panel on the front.
And pulling out the old filter to see how nasty it is compared to the replacement…
Before putting in the new filter, wipe down the compartment with a dust cloth.
Then, pop in the new filter in and replace the front panel. Easy Peasy.
While you’re changing the filter, belts, and bag (if necessary), give the whole vacuum a good cleaning and make sure the rollers on the bottom are clean move easily.
Yes, that is a photo of me vacuuming the vacuum. Turns out I may have already crossed into crazy-lady territory.
I know I mentioned our air filters above, but they are important enough for their own bullet point. Most filters need to be changed every 3 months, so if you do it during both time changes, you’re halfway done!
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to give them a little squirt of essential oil to help the house smell yummy.
I love winter and fall, but could skip the part where it gets dark so early. The extra dark hours are a double bummer when you see the statistics about burglaries and robberies increasing before the holidays.
The last step of your time change checklist is turning on all your outside lights and walking around the house making sure all the fixtures are clean and the bulbs are working. You can even consider putting them on a timer so you don’t have to remember to turn them on and off each day.
The great thing about this Daylight Savings list is that it should only take an hour or two, max. In that short time, twice a year, you can keep your family a bit safer, healthier with all the clean filters, and can even extend the life of your vacuum. Not a bad trade-off, right?
Now it’s your turn to confess…when was the last time you changed out your vacuum filters? The belts?
Let me know I’m not alone in the comments below! Or celebrate that you’re totally on top of something if you’ve changed them recently. 🙂
Thanks again to my brand partner, Filtrete™, for inspiring this post!
She does this by sharing easy home organization tips, home decor tutorials, and creative ideas to help readers think outside the box, no matter their budget.
Her work has been featured in print in Better Homes & Gardens and Room to Create Magazine, and online by HGTV, House Beautiful, Buzzfeed, & more.
In 2018 & 2019, Melissa was named as a Style Maker by Better Homes & Gardens. In 2019, Polished Habitat was shortlisted for the Amara Blog Awards Best Interior Styling Blog - International.