7 Things Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do
Not Everyone is Handy Around the House, but These are Important Skills!
Owning a home can be a dream come true, especially for new buyers who are just settling in. At the same time, being a homeowner comes with huge responsibilities related to maintenance and upkeep. To avoid costly repairs and improve energy efficiency, learn some essential tips for every seasoned and inexperienced homeowner.
- Fix a Running Toilet: When toilets run nonstop, water bills skyrocket. Lift the top of the tank and check the flush valve assembly. Try re-positioning it to see if this solves your problem. If you have no luck, you may need to visit the hardware store to buy a new assembly.
- Unclog Drains: Harsh chemicals shouldn’t be your first choice. Start by plunging the drain. If this doesn’t work, you can snake the drain with a hanger. After you’ve removed the clog, clean out remaining gunk by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by four cups of boiling water. Finish by pouring in a cup of vinegar to create a chemical reaction that will jar remaining debris loose.
- Manipulating your Thermostat: The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting thermostats to 78 in summer and 68 degrees in winter for optimal energy efficiency. If you live in a warm, humid climate, do not set your thermostat higher than 80 degrees. Your air conditioner will need to run every now and then to help dehumidify the air and prevent mold problems.
- Install Weather-Stripping: You can lower your heating and cooling costs by 15 percent by installing weather-stripping around your doors and operable windows. Measure the perimeter of your windows and doors to determine exactly how much you should buy.
- Clearing Gutters: It’s important to clear gutters of leaves, pests and ice dams at least twice a year. If you neglect this important responsibility, you could end up with roof leaks, rotted wood, insect infestations and even foundational problems due to improper drainage.
- Dripping Faucets: You can fix a leaky faucet with a few simple steps. Start by turning off the water to the sink and stop up the drain to keep from losing small, essential parts. Dismantle the faucet and add a new rubber washer to seal a compression faucet. If you have a drippy washerless faucet, you may need a new O-ring.
- Change your Filters: Maximize furnace efficiency by changing your furnace filter every 60 days. Make sure to choose the right filter for your model. You should also turn off your furnace before removing the service panel. Since every furnace is different, be sure to consult your owner’s manual.
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