Whether you’ve just purchased your first home or have been a homeowner for years, you should know that as a homeowner, when something breaks, needs to be changed, or isn’t working properly, it’s up to you to fix it. If you’re not a naturally handy person, you may end up calling a repairman (or your dad), for the simplest tasks. Here’s a list of the top things all homeowners should know how to do.
Unclog a Drain
You shouldn’t have to call in a plumber every time your drain gets a little backed up with too much hair. While some may opt to use chemicals on their drains to break up clogs, the reality is that those chemicals can be harsh on your plumbing. Instead, keep a drain snake and a plunger around to work out a clog. It’s a messy job, but you can save yourself some money in the long run by working on your drain yourself with these tools, along with some hot water, baking soda, and a little white vinegar, which is much better for your drain than pricey chemicals.
Change an Air Filter
In order to keep your HVAC system running smoothly, you should remember to change out your air filters at least once a month. Failing to do so can shorten the lifespan of your unit. Changing an air filter is a fairly straightforward process. You’ll want to be sure your purchase the correct size. They even make some that are made for pet owners, which allows the filter to catch more pet hair and dander than traditional filters. If you’re not comfortable doing this task, you can hire a home repair service to take care of the work for you.
Fix a Running Toilet
If you have a toilet that won’t stop running, you’ll want to fix it right away. Letting your toilet run for long periods of time can increase your water bill. You’ll want to start by opening the tank and inspecting the chain, flapper, and float, as a running a toilet usually stems from one of those three components. Many people are hesitant to stick their hands in the tank of their toilet, but remember that the water is clean so you don’t need to worry about sanitation issues.
Clean Your Gutters
When gutters are functioning properly, they’ll direct rainwater away from your home, which helps protect your home’s infrastructure and foundation. When they get clogged, however, they can cause water to overflow down the side of your home and lead to rotted wood and foundation damage. Take the time to clean out your gutters at least once a year to keep your home in good condition
Insulate Your Attic
A well-insulated home can drastically reduce your monthly energy bill. Make it a point to inspect the insulation in your attic at least once a year. Check for any exposed joists, which may be an indicator of lacking insulation. You can rent an insulation blower from one of your local hardware stores at a reasonable price. Investing in quality insulation can really pay off in energy savings and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Find a Stud
Unless you plan to live with bare walls, chances are you’ll need to hang a picture or shelf at some point during your homeownership. Knowing how to find a wall stud is a handy skill to have and can save you from making embarrassing holes in your drywall. You can even get some help by purchasing a cheap wall stud finder at your local hardware store, which makes the job even easier.
You don’t have to be a licensed contractor to complete simple tasks around your home. However, if you’re planning on owning your home for the long run, you’ll want to learn a few basics so you can save those service calls for the big repairs.