Owning a home is a lot of work, especially when it comes to general maintenance of your property. It can be tempting to call a professional when you have an issue, but many of these tasks can be learned and easily completed without the help of a handyman/woman. Spend some time learning these basic essential home maintenance tasks to get acquainted with your home and save some money in the long run.

Shutting Off the Water

As a homeowner, there will be times when you need to fix or replace something related to water (sink, toilet, washing machine, etc.). Locate your home’s water supply shut-off valve – the shut-off valve will shut off the water supply to the entire house, making repairs and replacements easier. Homeowners will find the valve in a basement, crawlspace, or outside the home. Once the project is done, simply turn the valve to open it up and you’ll be good to go.

Resetting the Circuit Breaker

Exterior home breaker boxWhen you have too many electronics running at once in your home, it’s possible the electrical circuit will “trip” or shut off. To fix it, locate your home’s electrical panel or fuse box (homes built before 1960 may not have an electrical panel) and reset the circuit by flipping it back to the “on” position. Some homeowners will have blank circuit panels (meaning there are no notes as to which circuit goes to what area of the home) – if you do, spend some time turning the circuits off to locate the specific circuit for each area of your home and make a note on the panel – you’ll appreciate it in the future.

HVAC Filter Maintenance

Senior man inserting a new air filter in a HVAC FurnaceFor most homes in North America, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems get used almost daily, which means they get pretty dirty from all the dust, pollen, and other particles they filter out of the air. Each system comes equipped with a filter, and depending upon what type of system you have in your home, the filter can either be cleaned or completely replaced. Since the HVAC system is an integral part of your home’s inner workings, ensuring you know where to find the filter and how to clean/replace it monthly or quarterly is a must.

Cleaning Out the Dryer Vent

For homeowners that have a washer and dryer, regular maintenance of the dryer vent is a must. Not only should you be cleaning the lint trap after each use, but the dryer’s vent should be cleaned out yearly. Buildup in the dryer’s vent can prevent optimum performance of the machine, and a clogged dryer vent can even be a fire hazard in certain circumstances. Ensure you clean the dryer vent hose and the exterior vent. If the buildup is too much for a homeowner to handle, hiring a professional that has the right tools for the project is always an option.

Unclogging a Drain

Serious concentrated young woman in checkered shirt checking faucet while having problem with dropping faucet in kitchenYour home’s drains are important, and ensuring they function and remain unclogged is a regular step of homeowner maintenance. If you do happen to encounter a plug in a drain, you have a number of options: you can use a hanger or a plunger for easy clogs; a liquid drain cleaner for plugs you can’t see or access; or you can invest in a sink auger (a tool that has a cable coiled within a drum canister), which is an excellent tool for clogs in sinks, bathtubs, toilets and more. You can help prevent clogs in your drains by investing in drain covers and performing routine monthly drain maintenance.

Essential Tools for Homeowners

Man with dog building kitchen cabinets and using a cordless drillWhen it comes to maintenance and projects in your home, be sure to have these items on hand to help you get your maintenance jobs done without any issues:

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tool Box
  • Flashlight
  • Set of Pliers
  • Utility Knife
  • Putty Knife
  • Handsaw
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Electric Drill
  • Duct Tape
  • Plunger
  • Level
  • Stud Finder

Owning a home is a lot of work, but it’s worth it, especially when you can do the jobs yourself.

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