Twice a year, the time changes for Daylight Savings Time. Like it or not, we all have to either set our clocks back or spring our clocks forward, even if it’s hard to get used to the time change.
Changing our clocks is also a great reminder to do some necessary, but often overlooked, eco-friendly tasks at home.
So with every time you have to wander through the house trying to remember where every timepiece you own is, add these necessary eco-tasks to your list, too. They’ll only take a few minutes, but can save you big on energy costs — and might even save your life.
Check Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries
It’s really easy to forget these home safety items, until a low battery alarm wakes you up in the middle of the night. Be proactive and switch out the batteries twice a year, making sure to recycle the old ones properly. If you think the batteries still have plenty of juice left in them, put the old ones in a remote or some other gadget in your home.
Clean or Replace Air Filters
The filters on your air-conditioning unit, heater or other home air system need to be cleaned or replaced for several reasons. First, a dirty filter can’t capture the toxins, mold, allergens and pollutants that you want to prevent from entering your home. Second, a dirty air filter takes more energy to run, which means it’s costing you money. Get out your owner’s manual for instructions, or call in a specialist to make sure your filters are clean.
Switch the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can run in two directions. A counterclockwise rotation will cool a room, which is necessary from spring to fall. The clockwise rotation is smart in winter to keep a room heated by pulling down the warm air from the ceiling. Using a fan to disperse heat or keep cool can save major money on your heating and cooling expenses, since not as much energy will be used to heat or cool the entire house.
Reprogram Automatic Lights
Security lights, decorative spotlights or any other automatic light timers that are installed inside or outside of your home should be adjusted with the new time. Program the lights to only come on when it becomes dark to save energy.
Properly Dispose of Expired Items
It’s easy to lose track of products in your home that have expiration dates. Whether it’s food, cosmetics or prescriptions, using an expired product could be potentially hazardous to your health. Look at labels to determine whether an item is still considered safe to use and properly dispose of those that should be thrown away. For instance, prescription drugs should not be flushed down a toilet because they enter public water supplies. Drop those off at a pharmacy or other medical location that accepts expired pills for disposal.
Feature image courtesy of Cam Evans