Editor’s note: there’s a good chunk of this article that was re-used from the 2022 edition of the Daylight Saving Time reminders, which are important to do. -KtE

It’s that time again, Polk County. The spring forward an hour for Daylight Saving Time returns early Sunday morning, which means those clocks have to be changed and many items around the house need to be checked.

Make sure to change the clocks around the house before bed tonight as time jumps forward an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2024. DST will end this year on Sunday, November 3, 2024 when the clocks jump back an hour at 2 a.m.

Clocks on phones and computers should update automatically to account for daylight saving time, and thus alarms will seem to go off ahead of time to wake up on Sunday morning.

Other DST reminders to keep in mind:

Swap out the batteries in household detectors

First off, do you have a smoke detector in your house? That’s an important question, because its something a lot of people don’t think much about until it is too late. Same for carbon monoxide detectors as well.

If you don’t have them, run out to Home Depot or Walmart this weekend sometime and grab one, and install them immediately. They might save your life.

For those who already have detectors in their home, it’s time to change out those batteries! Make sure to check your detectors after installing batteries specific to your model (usually a 9 volt or a set of AA or AAA depending the manufacturer) and test each detector before placing them back on their plates around the house.

Remember: for safety, make sure to have a buddy holding the ladder for getting to detectors in high places. And don’t use a kitchen chair.

Change the air filter in your house

Ever wonder why there is a burnt smell in the house the first time you cut on the heat? It’s because of dust buildup, more than likely, which means you aren’t changing out your filters enough.

Dust filters on the air intake for your heating and air handlers come in different ratings and sizes, but one thing is for sure: now is the perfect time to change out the air filter and prevent buildup of particles of all kind in the house.

Especially for those who are getting ready for a warm up and want to turn on the air conditioning, now is the time to change out the air filters and get ready for a spring cleaning overall. Remember, it’s not enough to just swap the filter: clean the intake grills as well.

Since preventing dust buildup is a good way to avoid aggravation from pet dander and seasonal allergies, now is also a good time to give the house a good dusting as well. That includes items that might not immediately be on the list, like water heaters, computer intakes and fans, televisions and those hard to reach spots under the couch.

Of note: most dust filters should be changed out every 30 days, but the better quality ones can last upward of 90 days for those without pets and who aren’t coming and going from home as much.

The water filter matters too

If the water is starting to taste funny, and use something like a Brita pitcher or a faucet attachment, then maybe you’ve forgotten to do something important that can impact your health as much as the air in the house.

Water filters are just as vital to change out on a quarterly basis as well air filters, and cleaning the pitchers and plastic housings are necessary as well to ensure the best quality water.

Don’t put parts that are used in filtration in the dishwasher, but give them a good rinsing in the sink as best as possible, and wipe clean with paper towels.

Use the best possible water filters you can buy (usually they are manufacture and model dependent,) but we understand those who want to be frugal.

Other things to check

Check computers and phones for software updates. Windows Update does check for new software for the operating system on a regular basis, but installing them does sometimes require some user intervention. Go ahead to Settings>Windows Update and click install if you have anything waiting.

Phone update are important too, and for instructions for iPhone readers here, Android users here, and for the desktop Windows users here.

Families need to check on emergency preparedness kits – especially for expiration dates on canned goods and over the counter medications – or make one if not already put together. Polk County EMA has a useful guide here.

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