So now what?
Aside from enjoying your home, you’ll need to manage it.
But first…is there something else you should do besides change the air filters in your HVAC system and clean out your gutters?
Maintenance or management?
You might say they mean the same thing, but there is a subtle difference.
Home maintenance is simply doing those things that need to be done such as fixing broken door-knobs, whereas home management goes a little deeper. In addition to keeping your home clean, it also includes thinking about and anticipating potential issues that could impact the safety, comfort and security of you and your family.
For example, you check to be sure that your doors and windows are locked before you settle in for the night, but would you know what to do if you started smelling gas coming from the kitchen? Do you know where the gas shutoff is and what you should do after you’ve shut it off?
Check through the list below and compare it to your new home’s systems. Do you know where each of these components are located and can you reach them quickly in case of an emergency?
1. How to shut off your water
Water can quickly damage your home so it’s important to turn it off as soon as you spot a leak. If it’s not immediately obvious where your main water valve is located, search for it – or ask someone with construction experience – where it is.
Also, as a precaution, if you plan to leave your home for longer than a day or two, turn off the water to your washing machine by turning the water valve behind it to the right.
2. How to turn off the gas
Aside from contacting your gas company if you suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas coming into your home. The shut-off valve will probably be located outside your home, next to the meter. Use an adjustable pipe or crescent wrench to shut if off.
3. How to turn off the electricity
When you first move into your new home, take some time to flip each breaker so that you can identify whether or not the switches have been properly marked.
Sometimes, however, your breakers haven’t been tripped at all, yet you still don’t have power to a particular outlet.
For example, if your hair dryer suddenly stops working – and you’re in the bathroom – check to see if there is a reset button on the outlet. The outlets in bathrooms and kitchens – especially those located near a water source such as the sink – are typically grounded outlets (hence the small red reset button).
It’s a safety feature to prevent damage from water that’s accidentally splashed onto the outlet.
Simply push the button and you’re probably back in business.
While not of an immediate nature, it’s also important to know how to do the following home management tasks:
4. How to adjust your hot water heater temp
Check the temperature setting on your hot water heater. Typically, when they come from the manufacturer, hot water heaters are set at 140 degrees.
If it’s at 140 or higher, move it down to about 120 degrees. This will:
- – Save you money – as much as $10 to $30 per 10 degree reduction on your annual energy bill
- – Prevent scalding
- – Slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your hot water tank and pipes
5. How to fix a toilet that runs
Few things are as annoying as the sound of a running toilet.
- – It’s a waste of water
- – Adds to your water bill
The most common reason for a toilet to run is problems with the flushing mechanism; flapper, chain or float.
Lift the lid on the back of the toilet and see what is happening. Often the chain or string that connects the lever (where you flush) to the flapper is stuck, keeping the tank from getting full and causing water to continue trying to fill the tank.
Finally, understand your own limitations. While it’s great to be able to do what you want now that you’re a homeowner, know when it’s time to call in a professional for help and/or advice.
This is your home…make it everything you ever dreamed it would be.