Here are some homeowner tips that protect your biggest investment, make smarter decisions, and avoid costly mistakes.
Technicians report that up to 30 percent of their service calls require only the push of a button or the flip of a switch. Those small actions can cost you a minimum service charge (typically $50 to $100)—plus embarrassment. Try these homeowner tips and tactics first.
1. Check a Warm Fridge’s Temperature Dial Make sure it hasn’t been turned way down. Kids may have messed with it, or someone might have bumped the knob. Also, make sure that food containers don’t block the fridge and freezer compartments’ vents—they supply the flow of frigid air.
2. Press the Reset Button on GFCIs Sometimes all the bathroom outlets or several exterior lights are powered through a single GFCI (the red button in the middle of some outlets) located in one bathroom or elsewhere, such as in a basement. If there’s an outage, push the reset button on the GFCI, and you could be back in business.
3. Test the Outlet If any electronic item suddenly won’t turn on, don’t immediately assume it’s broken. Plug in a clock or lamp to make sure the outlet works.
4. Inspect the Breaker When a light goes out or a switch doesn’t work, check the main electrical panel for a tripped circuit breaker. Look for a switch that’s not in line with the others. Flip it to the off position if it’s not fully to the side and then back on.
5. Get a Low-Flow Showerhead
Showerheads are the second-heaviest water users—and also major energy eaters, since 70 percent of the water used is heated. By reducing hot-water consumption, a low-flow unit can pay for itself in just one month. And you don’t have to settle for subpar water pressure. Many of today’s water-efficient showerheads use new technology to provide a high-flow feel.
Read more about homeowner tips and tactics at rd.com