Believe it or not, spring is coming. At least according to the calendar. We've had a pretty snowy and cold few weeks here in Michigan. It certainly doesn't feel like spring is on the way. But, it is! One way you can tell is that the ‘spring forward' clock change is just around the corner. With that means something else for many people: It's time to change the smoke alarm battery!
In Michigan, I love setting the clocks ahead for the spring forward change. We get an extra hour of daylight in the evening. Yes, we lose an hour in the morning, but within a few weeks, the sun will rise early again as we keep adding daylight until June.
Spring is when we change out the batteries in the smoke alarms and other alarms around the house.
Should You Change The Batteries Twice Per Year?
Until a few years ago, people would often advise that you change your batteries at every clock change. They would tell you to change them both when you fall back and also when you spring forward.
I used to do this, but now I'm down to once per year. Here is why.
The Length of Daylight Savings Time Changed
About ten years ago, they changed the pattern of the clock change. It used to be that every cycle was close to six months. Then, they extended daylight savings time so that it lasts for eight months. That means standard time only lasts for four months. That's a strange schedule to keep.
Technology Is Improved
Electronics today are better than they were in the past. Smoke detectors and other alarms are more efficient, so they will draw less power.
Battery Life Is Sufficient
I once had a battery only smoke detector. When we moved into our house, it was no longer needed, but I kept it anyway. It took over two-and-a-half years before it started beeping a low battery warning. I've tried the same test on other alarms (redundant) and no device has ever drawn down a battery in less than two years.
Most Devices Will Warn You
Even if the alarm does draw down the battery, you'll still get annoying chirp that tells you the battery needs to be changed. This is true for all of our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
Change The Battery On These Devices
Here's the list of devices for which we change the battery:
We have eight smoke alarms around the house. There's one in each bedroom, one centrally located on each floor (including the basement) and one more in the basement playroom. I change all batteries every year.
Note: Last year, I replaced all but one alarm. They say that you should replace the entire alarm every ten years. One alarm had gone bad a year or two prior, so I replaced all of the rest.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
We have a carbon monoxide alarm on every floor. Since the repair company told us that we likely have a small crack in our furnace's heat exchanger, we make sure we have alarms around to warn us of any issues.
I have several water alarms throughout the house. There are some under the sinks. We have one next to the water heater. There's also one that will let us know if the water level is near the top of the sump pump well.
All of these have come in handy at one time or another! Yes, we've had various leaks or problems with the sump pump, and we've averted a crisis in each instance. These are really handy to have!
Readers, are you changing your batteries with the upcoming time change? What is your schedule on changing the batteries?