Don’t forget to set your clock one hour ahead this Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 2:00 a.m.
The weekend most Canadians spring forward one hour is also the ideal time to tackle seasonal safety projects. A lot of the routine maintenance on your home and car should be done twice a year, so what better time to start checking items off your “to-do” list?
Around the house
- Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and test both devices to make sure they are in working order.
Spring Forward Tip: Don’t toss the batteries; there may still be juice in them. They can be used in children’s toys or electronic devices. Squeeze out every drop of power, then recycle them.
- Check your furnace’s filter and replace it if it is clogged or dirty. Your furnace filter has been busy this heating season and should be cleaned or replaced at least every two months.
- Clear all your gear away from the furnace. Access to your furnace, and the area around it, should be clear of obstructions no matter what the season.
- Clean gutters and downspouts to remove debris that may have accumulated during the winter. If clogged, spring showers can wreck havoc and possibly cause leaks.
- Go through your medicine cabinet for expired medication. Your pharmacist should be able to either take your old medications or provide you with information about where to dispose of them.
- Inventory your home’s first aid kit and replace items that are expired, or replenish items like bandages that may be running low.
In your car
- Do not remove your car safety kit! Keep it in your car for the whole year. You never know when you might need that flashlight or those jumper cables.
- Change your wiper blades. They should be replaced every six months.
- A change of season equals a change of oil. This will help to ensure your car operates at peak efficiency.
- Your car’s belts and hoses have dealt with extreme cold, snow, salt and sand in the last few months. Get them checked by a mechanic to make sure everything is connected properly and running smoothly.
- Give your car a good spring cleaning —inside and out—it’s been a long winter.
- If you change your tires seasonally, you’ll want to soon consider putting your all season tires on. A good rule-of-thumb is to switch when the temperature is consistently above 7°C.
- Live in Quebec? Don’t switch your tires until after March 15th; otherwise you could face fines ranging from $200 to $300.
- If you don’t change your tires seasonally, check your tire pressure and treads. If your tire pressure is off you’ll notice irregular and uneven wear on your treads, reduced vehicle handling or decreased gas mileage.
Spring car cleaning tips
- Grab a garbage bag and remove all the junk that has amassed over the winter. Look under the seats, go through all the pockets, and don’t forget the glove compartment too.
- Vacuum the upholstery and the floor. Don’t forget to move the seats to get at those hard-to-reach areas.
- Scrub the floor mats to get rid of any salt and dirt build-up brought in from the slush and snow.
- Clean the dash and console with a damp soft cloth to get rid of dust.
- Clean the windows, and then buff the glass with a microfibre cloth to minimize streaks.
- Pop open the trunk and throw out any garbage. Then vacuum it and use a damp cloth to pick up any dirt left behind.
Tip: If you have a car safety kit, don’t put it in storage. Most people think they only need it during the winter, but you really should keep it in your car for the whole year. You never know when you might need that flashlight or those jumper cables.
- Don’t forget the exterior! Wash your car in a shaded area, starting with the roof and working your way down. Use mild diluted soap and dry your vehicle right away to prevent water spots.
Now that all the cleaning is finished, time to sit and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Relax and sit back with a soothing hot tea, because, well, it is still winter and the weather is still cool. Not quite fully finished with winter just yet as the weather forecast says we still might end up with at least one more big snowfall of about 15 cm next week. Maybe, just maybe, the weather will change to rain. So sneak in a couple more weeks of winter chill out time before the tulips begin to pop up.
Even though we may be losing an hour, we will be gaining a bit more time of sunshine.
Happy spring forward everyone!
Best in health,