Do these fall checks now, save hassle later

Home heating, gutters, dryers need routine maintenance

SAN ANTONIO – As your change your clock and fall back to standard time this weekend, it’s a good time to test and replace smoke detector batteries and start checking off your fall to-do list.

Don’t forget! Fall back this weekend with end of daylight saving time

Routine home maintenance now can save you headaches, hassles and money down the road.

Fall is in the air and in your gutters. It’s important to clear out leaves and debris so rain can drain properly and not leak into your house. It will also help prevent critters from making themselves at home.

“As the weather starts to get a little cooler, it’s a good time to pay attention to those indoor projects you may have been neglecting,” said Consumer Reports Home Editor Paul Hope. “The good news is a lot of them are easy to tackle yourself.”

As the nights get nippy, you’ll want to keep the cool out and the warmth in. So, check your seals and weather stripping around windows and doors and replace or caulk as needed.

RELATED: Don’t forget! Fall back this weekend with end of daylight saving time

Next, take your tools and vacuum to the laundry room. The water hoses on the back of your washer should be replaced about every five years. If they’re brittle, Hope suggests swapping them out for braided stainless steel versions.

Built-up lint in your dryer venting system can be a fire hazard. At least once a year, clean out the air duct and the port in the back.

“Cleaning the lint out of your dryer can actually help the appliance run more efficiently and dry better,” Hope said.

Your water heater needs attention, too, but it is often overlooked. Draining it once a year can help prevent water deposit buildup, extend the life of the water heater, help it run better and help you avoid cold showers.

Some jobs are best left to the pros such as routine servicing of your home heating system and sweeping out your chimney.

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About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.