When it comes to major household repairs, you’re probably better off leaving big jobs to an expert, but there are plenty of small fixes you can do by yourself to save money and time. Whether you’re a long-time homeowner or recently moved into your first house, the sense of accomplishment you can enjoy by tackling do-it-yourself tasks and repairs will add to the experience of home ownership. Knowing how to do these simple skills and chores will make your life a lot easier and help you maintain a home that runs smoothly.
1. Change the HVAC filter
The filter on your heating and air conditioning system prevents dirt, pet hair and dust from being blown around your home. Even if your home is spic and span, your HVAC filter is likely to be covered with dust and hair by the end of the month, causing the system to work harder than normal. Change it to improve your air quality and save loads off your heating and air conditioning bill.
2. Shut off the water
A plumbing mishap that leads to water all over the floor can be minimized if you know how to shut off the water. Because this task is so important, it’s wise to make sure you have a gate valve that works properly. As long as the valve is in good working order, you can shut off the water supply to your entire home or a specific room to deal with plumbing issues without worrying about getting more water on the floor.
3. Prevent cold air from sneaking in
Winter winds that blow the snow around can make your yard look like a winter wonderland. Keep the cold winds outside where they belong by making sure your windows are properly caulked. Pick up a foam-based caulk and disposable caulking gun to seal up small cracks and crevices that let the air sneak in.
4. Relight a pilot light
When a pilot light goes out, it’s not only inconvenient, it can be dangerous. You won’t usually need to relight your pilot light often and, if you do, it probably means something needs to be fixed. But sometimes water boils over and causes the light to go out. Simply relighting it prevents gas fume issues while keeping your stovetop in working order.
5. Turn on a tripped circuit
It happens to the best of homeowners — too many things are plugged into the same general area and the circuit is tripped. Before you know it, the entire first floor is without electricity. To restore electricity, you need only locate the circuit that’s moved to the “off” position and switch it back on. Ensure you know where the circuit breakers are located in your home since they aren’t always easy to find.
6. Unclogging a toilet, tub or sink
Whether your little one stuffed toys down the toilet or too much hair has clogged the bathtub drain, knowing how to unclog a drain can save you lots of money in plumbing repairs. Have a good plunger onhand to create enough air pressure in the drain to force the clog through. You may also want to have a plumbing snake to remove foreign objects.
To some, these tasks might seem like a no-brainer, but to others they feel like rocket science. Once you get a few of these simple DIY household tasks under your belt, you’ll feel more like a pro. In addition to saving you money, having the skills and knowledge to accomplish these tasks can help you feel more capable as a homeowner.