Daylight Saving Time 2011This Sunday  marks the end of Daylight Saving Time. And, as far as we’re concerned, the requisite one-hour moving-back of the clock is arriving just in the nick — this waking-up-in-the-pitch-dark business is for the birds.
Sure, it would be easy enough to do what many of your neighbors will do, and just savor that additional hour of sleep. However, if you’re feeling especially enterprising, you could use that extra 60 minutes to do a few simple things around the house to ensure that your surroundings are better prepared to survive the winter.
Below are a few places that would probably benefit from a winter-weather-related chore or two.

  • Home’s Exterior: Inspect doors, windows and garage doors. Do they close tightly? Seal/weatherstrip and caulk if needed (if the gaps between siding and window or door frames are thicker than a nickel, it’s time to reapply exterior caulk).
  • Gutters: Check downspouts, and clear of debris if necessary.
  • Yard: Drain and store garden hoses. Install insulating covers on exterior spigots. Have sprinkler systems blown free of water.
  • Ceiling Fans: Reverse course. If your fan has a reverse switch, run the blades clockwise. (According to Energy Star, the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling.) This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings
  • Interior Caulking: Inspect caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks; replace any that’s deteriorating.
  • HVAC: Change filters, if required.
  • Fireplace: Check for soot or creosote buildup. Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned if necessary.
  • Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Test batteries and replace.
  • Toilets: Check for leaks and water run-on.
  • Garbage Disposal: Tighten drain connections and fasteners.
  • Washer: Clean water inlet filters; check hoses and replace any that are leaking.
  • Dryer: Vacuum lint from ducts and surrounding areas.
  • Wiring: Check for frayed cords and wires; repair or replace them as needed.
  • Range/Stove Hood: Wash fan blades and housing.

Granted, the above tasks are about as fun as watching paint dry, but the time invested is worthwhile. Regular maintenance like this can save you big bucks in the long run (and can make a tremendous difference when the time comes to sell your home).

About the Author:
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.