Understanding general home repair and maintenance is an important part of being a homeowner. Not every broken appliance needs to be fixed by a professional and, in fact, most repairs can be done by yourself. Repairing issues by yourself is cost-effective, time-saving, and can possibly extend the life of your appliances. But even if you intend to hire out all repairs, you’ll want to understand how things work. Here’s a list of general home repair and maintenance tips that every homeowner should be knowledgeable on.

HVAC system maintenance

Maintain your HVAC system regularly to ensure your house is comfortable and you don’t become sick. Any household air conditioning system can harbor things like dust and mold that can pose threats to your health if not taken care of. Change the air filter in your furnace every one to three months, depending on the filter you have. This helps the system functions properly and improves the air flow and quality. If you start to notice your air conditioning is lacking cold air or the unit is running constantly, check your filter first and you may find the problem there. Additionally, have a technician clean the fan portion of your air conditioning unit once a year to ensure your system is running properly.

Prevent plumbing leaks

Not sure if your toilet is leaking? One way to check is to visit your local hardware store and purchase a leak detector tablet. Simply place the tablet into your toilet bowl and if the water turns blue, you have a leak. Another way to prevent a toilet leak is to caulk around the base of your toilet.

Properly sealed windows

One of the first signs of a failing window is a window leak. Doing a quick check to make sure your windows are sealed properly will help to prevent any leaks in the future. You can extend the life of your windows by caulking around the flashing of the window. Additionally, make sure the mechanisms on your windows are working properly. If your window isn’t properly locked in the winter, you can lose heat and money very fast.

Leaky dishwasher

One of the most common causes of a leaky dishwasher is a detached water line. Before you call a plumber, check that the line to your dishwasher from your sink is connected properly. And if your line is connected and it’s still leaking, you may have a cracked line which can cause water damage behind the wall if not fixed.

Roofing issues

Sometimes with older roofs, you may see the seams in your ceiling start to separate, but don’t worry too much. One reason for this could just be the cracks settling. When the foundation settles, the building will shift cause minor stress in the drywall and structure which can cause separation. Another reason for seams in your ceiling is more serious: your roof is falling. At that point, it is important to get a roofing professional out immediately to see what your options are. Signs of a roof failure are bubbling in the drywall, water rings, or splitting.

Hopefully this empowers you a bit on understanding the many items that fall under general home repair and maintenance. Approach any repairs you attempt yourself with caution. Always wear protective gear, and unplug any appliances before you begin work.