You might feel it best to just call a contractor every time something needs fixing in your home rather than doing it yourself. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you want to save money, there are simple ways to make your own repairs and maintain items in your home.

Here's a few things in your home that you can take care of yourself:

Plumbing

Here are some things to watch for to keep your pipes clear:

  • Fat buildup is the most common cause for clogged drains. Don't pour fat or oil down your drain. If you do accidentally spill oil or fat down the drain, run hot water along with a good amount of dishwashing fluid. The soap will emulsify the fat or oil and move it on down the pipe, preventing a clog.
  • Use a hair strainer in the bathtub drain. Hair is the primary cause of clogs in the bathroom. Make sure to remove hair after each shower from the strainer.
  • Drano isn't always the best answer to a clogged drain. The acids in this type of product can actually cause damage to your pipes if used too much. Instead, first try a drain snake and pull the clog to the surface. If the kitchen sink is clogged, try plunging it before trying to snake the drain. If you cannot remove the clog using a drain snake, call a professional.

Toilets

If you think your toilet is leaking, you can add red water to the tank. Check the bowl in an hour to see if the water in the bowl is pink. If it is, there's a leak.

A leak is an easy fix. You just need to replace the flapper. To replace the flapper, shut off the water to the toilet, usually located on the wall behind the toilet. Empty the tank by flushing it.

Remove the flush chain from the lever, and then slide the old flapper up off the overflow tube. Slide the new flapper in place over the overflow tube, reconnect the chain. Check to make sure everything is back in place and turn the water supply back on.

Faucets

Faucets generally leak because of worn out washers in the handles, as they're made of rubber and wear out in time. To replace them, shut off the main water supply, unscrew the leaky handle, and replace the washer.

Air Conditioning

Its easy to forget about the air conditioner. But they can be costly to repair when they do Break down.

Regularly inspect the condensation hose to make sure that the water can flow freely from the line. If there is standing water around where your condensation line drains, create a drainage path using a small garden trowel and line the path with gravel to keep mold and algae from forming.

Also be sure the screen around your air conditioner is free of debris to keep the air moving freely. Also be sure to replace filters every few months.

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