Homeownership is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it does not come without its challenges. It’s a good idea to go into it knowing a few essential skills that can help you both save money, and keep your house in tip-top shape.
How to Change Air Filters
Changing the air filters in your house on a regular basis helps to maintain the air quality inside your house, and it helps to keep dust and allergens at bay. The amount of time to go between filter changes varies based on a few things. If you don’t have pets or allergies, most air filters can go anywhere from 3 to 6 months before needing to be changed. If you have pets or allergies, it’s a good idea to change them every 30 to 90 days. If you just moved into a newly constructed house, you should change the filter every 2 to 3 weeks for the first few months to take care of filtering out any leftover drywall dust. Buying new filters is quick and easy when you use services like Amazon.com or EZFilter to order – just find the size of your filter (which will be printed clearly on the filter already installed), order a new one, and it ships right to your front door!
How to Shut Off Your Main Water Valve
It is extremely important that you know how to shut the main water valve off in your house, both to prevent leaks and to stop a leak if one occurs. In order to do this, you need to find the main water valve which is located at a different place in each house. Talk to the builder or the realtor about where the valve is located. If you are planning on going away for more than 2 days, it is a good idea to turn off the main valve to avoid coming home to a disaster – if a leak starts while you are away, it won’t stop until the main valve is shut off!
How to Adjust Your Water Temperature
Most water heaters are typically manufactured to reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. For the typical household, the temperature should not need to be set much higher than 120 degrees. By turning the temperature down, you can prevent scalding, reduce the corrosion and mineral build up in your pipes and water heater, and save money on your monthly bill. For each 10 degrees you turn the temperature down, you can save anywhere for $10 to $30 a month!
How to Fix a Running Toilet
A running toilet is no joke! But luckily it is an easy fix. A running toilet means constantly running water, which results in higher monthly water bills. There are several reasons why a toilet may be running and in most cases the solution does not involve calling a plumber. Check out this useful article (https://goo.gl/XlUSgm) that provides easy to follow pictures and instructions on what to do.
Understanding Your Circuit Breaker
Learning your way around your circuit breaker box can help prevent your family from being left in the dark. As soon as you move in, it is a good idea to figure out which circuits go to which rooms and outlets in your house, and then label each of the switches in the breaker box. It is typical in older houses for circuits to become easily overloaded. If this happens, simply go to the box and look for the breaker that is flipped to the “off” position. Switch it back to the “on” position and the problem should be solved!
How to Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters lead to overflowing water from heavy rainstorms and snow melt. Overflowing water leads to damaged wood trim and siding which lead to expensive repairs. Gutters should be cleaned out at least once a year, and at least twice a year if you have trees that are taller than your house. In order to clean your gutters, make sure you wear the proper attire including a long sleeve shirt, eye protection, and a face mask to avoid dust inhalation. Carefully lean a ladder against the house and use a small garden shovel to scoop out the muck that has collected in the gutter. To finish, use a high pressure nozzle on your garden hose to rinse out the gutter. Helpful tip: the worst clogs happen where the downspouts join the gutters.
How to Change a Lock
If you are moving into a house that is not new construction, you have no way of knowing who may have a copy of the key to your home. Because of this, it is a good idea to make your first task upon moving into your home replacing all of the locks. This is an easy DIY task that can be completed in a matter of minutes. It is only the inner cylinder of the door knob that needs to be replaced, and a new lock kit can be purchased at any home improvements store. Check out this useful guide on how to get the job done: https://goo.gl/X30adP
How to Properly Caulk Doors & Windows
This simple yet important task can help to save you a substantial amount of money over the years in heating and cooling bills. Make sure that you purchase a silicone caulk that is waterproof, crack proof, shrink proof, and flexible. Remove the old caulk with a utility knife and make sure the surface is clean and dry. Cut the nozzle of the new caulk to the desired size and apply the caulk with a smooth, even pressure. Smooth out the applied caulk with a wet finger. This easy to follow guide can help to simplify the process further: https://goo.gl/TN7yEz