Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Daylight Saving To-Do List

For those hard-to-remember semiannual chores, it may be helpful to create a "daylight saving" to do list. Here are some ideas from my list to get you started.

1. Right after you change your clocks, change your smoke detector batteries. It only costs a few dollars for new batteries, and it could save your life.

2. Replace air filters in your heating/air conditioning system. This should be done at least every six months, or more often if you have pets or run your system a lot. If you have central air, daylight saving time may also be a good time to schedule professional duct cleaning.

3. Check your credit report. The website offers free, secure copies of your credit report from the three major companies once a year. You can also request reports by phone by calling 1-877-322-8228. I like to check one after new year's and the others at the two daylight saving times. I usually go alphabetically: Equifax in January, Experian in the spring, and TransUnion in the fall.

4. Replace your car's windshield wipers. It's best to replace your windshield wipers ever six months, or more often if you have a long commute or park outdoors. You can measure your wipers, buy replacements for about $5 to $15 each, and install them yourself. Or, ask your mechanic to do it, possibly in combination with an oil change or inspection.

5. Replace your car's air filter. Either ask your mechanic to do it, or do it yourself. Air filters cost about $10 to $50, and your auto parts store will have guides on which filter your car uses. Although the task can be a little dirty, it doesn't take a whole lot of know-how to change the filter. Just make sure you let your car's engine cool down before opening up the hood.

6. Add your own items to this list. For example, my vacuum cleaner needs a filter replaced every six months. There is no way I would remember to do that without my daylight saving list!