As a homeowner, you are likely to find yourself taking on tasks you never imagined doing. Owning a home can feel like a lot of work and, at times, may seem a little daunting. There may be days when it is best to call in a professional, but there are a lot of things we are confident you can tackle yourself. If you arm yourself with the proper skill set and aren't afraid to learn as you go, you may surprise yourself! Keep reading to find out what every homeowner should know how to do!
1. Replace Furnace Filters
Filters keep dust, hair, and other particles out of the air you breathe. Eventually, these filters become too clogged to properly do their job. Replacing them every 1-2 months is a good way to ensure the air being pumped into your home is clean. Proper and timely replacement of furnace filters will also increase the life of your furnace. A healthy furnace runs efficiently and saves money on your energy bill.
2. Shutoff Main Water Valve
Water damage is a home's worst enemy. It is important to know where your water shutoff valve is located so that, in an emergency, you can cut the water supply to your home. It is typically located in the basement or in a utility area. Knowing where this is and acting quickly can save you thousands of dollars in water damage. It is a good practice to shut off the main water valve if you're going on vacation for a few days. It's better to take precautions than come home to a flooded basement.
Bonus tip: If you come home to flooding in your home, be sure you shut off the water supply before calling a plumber. Remove the water however you can, and get the area dry as quickly as possible to avoid mold and water damage.
3. Utilize Breaker Box
Familiarize yourself with your home's electrical box before you need to restore power to a tripped circuit. If you are doing electrical work and need to cut power to an area, be absolutely certain you have flipped the proper switch. Don't trust old labels or marks from previous owners.
4. Clean Refrigerator Coils
Coils help cool the air your fridge uses. Over time, these coils gather dust and become less effective, meaning your fridge is working harder than it has to. Cleaning your fridge's coils is the absolute best way to increase the efficiency and life of the appliance. This can be done with a vacuum hose or a bristled brush.
5. Clean Gutters
Debris buildup in gutters will eventually stop water flow, causing the water to pool. Ridding gutters of such debris is a fantastic way to avoid a leaky roof, interior flooding, and massive icicles. The ladder you use will vary depending on the height of your gutters. Gloves are good idea, and it helps to have a scoop to loosen debris.
Bonus tip: Once clean, run water through the gutters with a hose. This will clear out any remaining junk and is a great way to spot leaks.
6. Unclog A Drain
There are numerous ways to unclog a drain: baking soda and vinegar, snakes, toilet plungers, chemicals -- the list goes on. However you choose to unclog your drain, don't wait until you're showering in three inches of water or your kitchen sink wont drain. Take care of the clog when you first notice the issue. This can help you avoid a headache in the future.
Doors and windows are the perfect place for drafts. Attack this problem with weatherstripping! Weatherstripping can help seal problem areas, letting less outside air in. This will result in a more comfortable home as well as a lower energy bill.
Being a homeowner can feel overwhelming at times, but we are confident that you will learn as you go and be a master in no time! Set yourself up for success by learning what you can and knowing when to call a professional. If you are considering purchasing a home, give us a call! We are always more than happy to answer questions, recommend contractors, and guide you to your goals.