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10 Things You Should Do When Daylight Savings Time Ends

There's more to do than turn the clocks back when Daylight Savings Time ends. This is our go-to checklist.

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When Does the Time Change?

This year, Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends on Sunday, November 7, the first Sunday in November. That’s when we “fall back,” winding our clocks back an hour and return to Standard Time, with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe DST. While there has been some movement legislatively to abandon Standard Time and make the extra daylight our of DST the national standard, the change hasn’t happened yet. And since most of the country is still adjusting its clocks twice a year, that’s at least an excellent time to check off a handful of regular home maintenance tasks, from cleaning the gutters to changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

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Fall Cleaning

You’re going to be spending more time inside with the arrival of colder weather, so this is a good time to get the house in shape with a fall cleaning plan. Eliminate the clutter that’s accumulated over the summer by donating what’s good and recycling or tossing the rest, reorganize your shelves, dust off hard-to-reach places, tidy up the garage, etc. It’s a good time to clean the dust off the ceiling fans as well.

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Swap Your Closet and Decor

Swapping out your summer garb for warmer attire will allow you to keep you closet organized and allow for easier access to your clothes. Furthermore, you’re probably going to want to take those cozy throw blankets out of storage and display them around the house for snuggling up and adding a touch of hygge style to your home.

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Flip Your Mattress

You should flip your mattress twice a year, so why not mark the event with the time change? Flipping and rotating your mattress is important to avoid irregular wear, which can shorten the lifespan of your mattress and result in back problems too! But not all mattresses are made to be flipped, so double check first.

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Reverse Your Fans

When Daylight Savings Time begins, you should switch your ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise to keep things cooler. But now that it’s fall, it’s time to reverse them—clockwise rotation directs warm air back down. It you don’t have a ceiling fan, it’s an easy and worthwhile DIY project that can make your heating and cooling system that much more efficient.

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Replace Your HVAC Filters

If you live in a climate with seasons, you know you’ll be turning on the heat soon, if you haven’ already. Before you do that, it’s important to change the filter. A good furnace filter not only helps with the HVAC system’s efficiency by keeping air flowing smoothy, it filters particles out of the air that can impact people with allergies or other respiratory issues. Keeping your heating and cooling vents clear is in your best interest for health reasons as well as saving money on your energy bill.

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Family Handyman

Check Your Water Heater

Water heaters need flushing from time to time, and the end of Daylight Savings Time is a good chance to take care of that task. It’s another easy project that you can tackle in a few hours; here’s how to do it. Check your water heater to make sure it’s not leaking too.

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Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Alarm

It’s quite “alarming” to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of your smoke alarm chirping. Avoid that unpleasant sound by changing the batteries whenever the time changes. If your smoke alarms are getting older, it’s also a good time to replace them with new ones.

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clean guttersIndy Edge/Shutterstock

Clean Your Gutters

Melting snow and ice needs a way to drain off your roof, and if your gutters are full of dead leaves and other debris, the water won’t drain properly and can damage your home. So when Daylight Savings Time ends, it’s a good time to get up there and clean out the gutters. There are tools that make gutter cleaning easier, and if you have the time, it’s worth installing gutter guards too.

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Restock Your Emergency Kit

There’s no doubt an emergency kit is essential in the home, and with Daylight Savings Time ending and the chance of winter storms approaching, it’s a great time to check in on how well your kit is stocked and make sure that nothing has expired.

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dfh17sep042-04 brick fireplace dirty damperjuliasv/Shutterstock

Clean Your Fireplace

The warmer months mean you’ve neglected your fireplace, but now that it’s time to get warm and cozy, you can bet you’ll be using it lots! Before you do, however, you’ll want to check the chimney for cracks and obstructions and clean out the ash.

Ryan Van Bibber
Ryan Van Bibber is a deputy editor at Family Handyman. He's been DIY'ing since he was a kid. A resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he is especially proud of his aptitude with a swamp cooler, repairing stucco and engineering makeshift shade. As a career journalist, Ryan covered the NFL for more than a decade, worked as a senior editor at Outside as well as writing and editing buying guides and product reviews for several national publications. When he’s not working, you can find him on the trails with his family and two very good dogs.