The autumnal equinox approaches and observers will see an equal length of day and night. In other words, the calendar says the first day of fall officially begins on September 23rd. This is a trigger for many in Idaho to break out the leaf rake, Halloween decorations, and pull coats and sweaters out from storage under the bed in preparation for the upcoming outdoor chores. But there are indoor chores to remember as well.

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As the days grow shorter, citizens need to be aware of a couple of items to put on their shopping lists. While shoppers are out drinking pumpkin spice lattes when they shop for new yoga pants and boots, they should also pick up 9-volt batteries and furnace filters. This change in routine may be difficult at first, but is necessary.

The clock changes for daylight savings time in March and November are used as a reminder for many people to change the batteries in a home’s fire alarms. How many times has that pesky alarm told us in no uncertain terms that the battery is low at 4 PM? Never. The beep chasing always hits between midnight and 3 AM. Rumor has it, that this is because of temperature changes. I think it’s because the smoke alarm companies are evil.

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The lesser well-known rule is replacing the furnace filters. Every year homeowners are surprised by the smell of burned dust as the heater kicks in. Some free-thinkers consider this may be a good time to change the filter. Recommendations on changing filters can vary, but 90 days for a 1-inch filter, 6 months for a 4-inch filter, and 12 months for the largest filters is a safe bet. Go and check your furnace to see the size you need and put a couple on the list, or order them in preparation for the equinox.

Not On The Time Change, Remember On The Equinox

Since none of us will remember filter rules without serious intervention, let’s make a habit of changing both the batteries and filters when fall hits. Then it won’t matter what size filter you have or when Congress votes out daylight saving. It isn’t a perfect system, but at least the furnace won’t be completely neglected for 5 years and you won't go crazy hunting down a chirp at 2 AM.

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