The minute you officially become a homeowner is also the minute you can no longer rely on your landlord or a building superintendent for common maintenance problems. As a homeowner, you should know how to tackle these basic issues instead of calling for help and spending too much money. Here are some basic home maintenance items every homeowner should know how to do.
1. Changing HVAC Filters
Ideally you should be changing your HVAC filters every 3 months to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. The filter's basic function is to clean the air running through your heating and air system. Filters trap and hold many types of particulates and contaminants that could affect your health and comfort, including:
- Dust and dirt
- Mold and mold spores
- Fibers and lint
- Metal, plaster or wood particles
- Hair and animal fur
- Bacteria and microorganisms
2. Cutting the Water Supply
A flood in your home is a homeowners worst nightmare. Thankfully, as long as the water is coming from your home's own water supply and not an outside source, you can shut it off very quickly. The first step is to locate your home's main water shut off valve. They are typically located near the perimeter of the home as that is where the water first enters. Also, they are usually on the side of the home that faces the street as the water main enters your home from the street in a straight line. When you first move in, find and mark the main shut off valve and turn it 90 degrees when you need to shut water off to the entire home.
3. Unclogging Drains
There are different ways to unclog a common household drain. You can use a chemical cleaner or you can mechanically unclog with a drain snake. Regular cleaning can actually increase the lifespan of your drains by minimizing the damage that can build up over time. It can also get ride of bad odors coming from your drain.
4. Resetting a Circuit Breaker
Most homes use circuit breakers that switch off power to a room whenever an electric overload or short occurs. Here's how to reset a breaker should that occur.
- Turn off all the lights and unplug everything in the affected room or rooms.
- Take a flashlight and open the circuit breaker panel so you can see the circuit breakers.
- Look for the circuit breaker with the switch in the center position.
- Flip the switch to off, and then flip it to on.
5. Cleaning Gutters
It is crucial to make sure your gutters are cleared of debris when the time comes. If they are not, water can get trapped and eventually seep into your home and end up costing you thousands in repairs. It is recommended to check and clean your gutters twice a year at the very least. The best time to do it is during the Spring and Fall.