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9 Essential Tasks Every Homeowner Should Know

There are some basic tasks that every homeowner should know how to do. Knowing how to do these 9 things makes you a better homeowner, guaranteed.

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Change a Furnace FilterFamily Handyman

Change a Furnace Filter

Your furnace may be big, bulky, and perform one of the most essential tasks in your home, but that doesn't mean it needs to be intimidating. Many regular maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners and changing the furnace filter is a simple one that will save money and prolong the life of your furnace. Here's how. Plus: Simple Furnace Fixes You Can Do Yourself
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Locate Your Shut OffsPhongkrit/Shutterstock

Locate Your Shut Offs

As a homeowner, one of the best things you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. Notably, the knowledge of where to find the main water and gas shut off valves for your home. Trust us, in an emergency; you'll be glad you did. Everything you need to know about finding these two hidden gems can be found here. Plus: How to Replace Your Main Shut Off Valve
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Deal with DrainageFamily Handyman

Deal with Drainage

Water has the potential to cause problems in any home, and the skills to deal with drainage issues can be a huge money saver in the long run. Extending downspouts is an easy fix, but knowing how to make a drainage plan is going to provide long-term results for minimal effort. Plus: Permanent Fixes for Damp Basements
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Adjust Your Water HeaterFamily Handyman

Adjust Your Water Heater

If you've ever taken a vacation without adjusting your water heater, you've already lost money on this easy-to-master homeowner skill. While finding the large dial, usually at the base of your water heater, shouldn't be hard, finding the correct temperature may be. Find out how to find and set the right temperature for your heater here. When going away on holidays, turn your water temperature down to avoid the need to maintain the temperature of the whole tank while you're away. Just don't forget to turn it back up when you get home! Plus: How to Fix a Water Heater Pilot Light
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How to Fix Leaks and DripsFamily Handyman

How to Fix Leaks and Drips

Two annoying causes of wasted money and water are leaky taps and running toilets. In fact, according to the United States Geological Survey, a leaky faucet at one drip per second equals a loss of five gallons of water every day! Fortunately, both of these are easily remedied by any homeowner and won't take long to complete. Learn how to fix a leaky faucet, and how to fix a running toilet. Plus: How to Find and Fix Roof Leaks
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Understand Electrical

Understand Electrical

Electrical overloads are easily created but can be incredibly dangerous for your home and everyone in it. A solid understanding of how the electrical circuits in your home function will not only make you a master homeowner, it will allow you to make as many DIY improvements as you want while maintaining the integrity of your electrical system. Here's how. Plus: The 8 Most Common Electrical Code Violations DIYers Make
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How to Change LocksTab62/Shutterstock

How to Change Locks

Unfortunately, lost keys are a part of life. But why waste money on a locksmith when you can re-key a lock yourself? You can change your locks by removing the cylinder and adjusting the pins. Never worry about the cost of a new lockset again. Here's how to master this skill. Plus: Upgrade Door Locks With Keyless Entry Systems
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Find and Seal CracksFamily Handyman

Find and Seal Cracks

The ability to stop air leaks in your home will regulate the temperature, save a ton of money on heating and cooling while discouraging unwanted critters from entering your home. Plus: Tips for Caulking
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Paint Like a Pro

Paint Like a Pro

The ability to do a good paint job is a skill that, once learned, will save you gobs of money over the course of your home ownership. While it takes patience and detail, fresh paint can make your home seem larger, cleaner and more modern—not too bad for a few brushes, paint and a weekend or two. Check out our collection of painting tips aimed at making your painting projects look like you hired a pro.