If you’ve ever owned a home, you’re aware of just how much upkeep they require to stay safe, comfortable, energy efficient, and in good working order. The last thing you want is to shell out lots of cash to fix damaged appliances or features in your home that could have been avoided had you done better maintenance earlier.
However, it can be a drain on your wallet to outsource all the home maintenance jobs. To save yourself money and a headache, we have five easy DIY tips for maintaining your home that also won’t take much of your time.
A leaky toilet is one of the most common problems in a home. But it’s not always obvious when a toilet is leaking. Sure, water on the floor is clearly a leak, but it’s not always so noticeable when the toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl. This is a huge water waster if you let it go for a long time unchecked, and there’s also a risk of toilet damage and later leaks on the floor.
Fortunately there’s a simple fix. You can generally hear if a toilet continues to run way past when it was flushed and you’ve left the bathroom, and if this is the case the tank is most likely leaking. To fix this, you need to replace the toilet flapper.
First, shut off the water supply to the toilet by turning the water valve directly behind it. Take off the lid of the tank and flush the toilet to empty the tank. Remove the flush chain from the lever, slide the old flapper off the overflow tube, and the new flapper over the overflow tube. Once you reconnect the chain and turn the water supply back on, your toilet is good to go!
Have you ever turned on the hot water in your shower and the water never heats up? This is because the water in your water heater has built up sediment and has damaged the floor of the water heater.
To fix this, you must drain the water heater and clean the floor of the inside of the heater. First turn off your water supply and power to the water heater. For gas water heaters, turn the thermostat to pilot position, and for electric water heaters, just flip the appropriate circuit breaker to the off position.
Then you connect a water hose (a garden hose will do just fine) to the drain fitting located at the bottom of the tank, and have the water filter out somewhere the draining hot water won’t cause any damage, such as your driveway. Next, turn on all the hot water faucets in your home and open the drain valve on the water heater. Turn your water supply back on and this will cleanse any built up sediment from the bottom of the tank.
When the sediment has been removed, simply close the drain valve, refill the tank, and turn the power back on.
This is one of the last appliances you want to overlook when it comes to maintenance because when air conditioners break, they are very expensive to repair.
Regularly check on the condensation within the hose of the air conditioner to ensure water can flow freely from the line. If there’s standing water where the condensation line drains— or worse, standing water with mold or algae —you will need to clean your A/C unit. Here’s an easy way to clean it!
It’s also important to keep the screen around your A/C unit clear of debris so that air flows freely. This ensures your air conditioner will run more efficiently.
Like your air conditioner and hot water heater, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the water supply hoses for leaks. Neglecting this home maintenance task could result in severe water damage from leaky washing machine supply lines. It’s a good idea to inspect these lines at least once a year and replace them every three years if they’re made of plastic.
However, if the metal ends of your water supply are rusty or discolored, replace them right away.
Similarly to your water supply lines, you need to keep an eye on the washing machine drains. Inspect these also for rust or discoloration and replace them immediately if you find leaks.
It’s also worth your while to check how tightly the drain lines are secured. This can be done with a crescent wrench or pliers. Tighten it as far as it will go.
Even the highest quality refrigerators out there can waste energy if they’re not properly maintained. Many modern fridges have refrigerant coils on the back and the coolant in these coils is what keeps your fridge cold.
It’s important to keep the coils clean so that they can exchange heat and cold more efficiently. Plus the dust and pet hair that can build around the fridge coils can be pretty disgusting. Fortunately, cleaning the coils is only a five-minute job and will seriously help you save on your electric bill. Make sure you do this every three months. Here’s how!
These are just a few tips for maintaining your home yourself without paying lots of money to have someone else do it for you— or to make repairs when there’s serious damage later! These fixes don’t require much of your time or money and the learning curve is incredibly short. Stay tuned for part two of our DIY home maintenance tips.
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