Home Improvement Ideas Remodeling Advice & Planning Maintenance & Repairs 15 Essential Home Maintenance Tasks Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do A little effort goes a long way with these home maintenance projects. By Kamron Sanders Published on February 22, 2023 Share Tweet Pin Email Whether you're new to homeownership or you're a seasoned pro looking to sharpen your skills, these home maintenance tasks are worth getting to know. While you might already be familiar with a few of these home improvement projects, whether snaking a drain or changing an air filter, others might be new to you. In fact, you might not even realize some of the items on this list should be maintained (sorry in advance for changing your weekend plans). Nathan Schroder Get started today to prevent damage to your home, save thousands of dollars on future home repairs, and skip unnecessary service calls. 01 of 15 Stop a Running Toilet Tria Giovan Over time, a toilet's water line may begin to run continuously, leading to higher water usage. To fix a running toilet, start by determining why the toilet is running. The problem could be due to an overflow tube that's too short, the water level could be set too high, the flush valve chain could be too short, the flapper could be worn or warped, or the flush and fill valves could need replacing. How to Fix a Running Toilet 02 of 15 Reset a Tripped Breaker Jacob Fox To reset a breaker, locate your home's electrical panel and identify the tripped breaker. It will be the breaker with a switch that isn't fully on. To reset the tripped breaker, move the switch fully to the "off" position, then return it to the "on" position. If the breaker continues to trip without a clear reason, don't restore the power. Instead, contact an electrician to find the problem. 03 of 15 Fix a Leaky Faucet Anthony-Masterson Drip, drip, drip ... that's the sound of money going down your drain. When simply turning your faucet off a little tighter no longer prevents it from leaking, it's time to learn to fix a leaky faucet. You'll also need to know how to shut off the water for this DIY home repair. 04 of 15 Repair or Replace Window Screens Karyn Millet When mild weather rolls in, give your air conditioning system a well-deserved break. However, doing so before making sure your window screens are up to snuff will result in a house full of uninvited guests. Learn to repair and replace window screens to ensure your home stays pest free. 05 of 15 Patch a Hole in Drywall Larry Johnston If you're transitioning from renting a home to home ownership, you might have already learned how to patch drywall the right way (or, at least good enough to secure your damage deposit). If not, fixing drywall holes from minuscule to monstrous with professional results is easier than you might think. 06 of 15 Find a Wall Stud CARSON DOWNING Once you move into your first home, you have an endless list of items, from pictures to TVS, to hang on the wall. Whether you're hanging artwork or anchoring furniture to protect pets and kids, one of the first things you need to learn is how to accurately find a wall stud. This simple task can be completed through various methods, whether you opt to use a stud finder or simply tap the wall and measure accordingly. 07 of 15 Clean a Dryer Vent David Land According to the U.S. Fire Administration, clothes dryers cause about 2,900 house fires each year, and about a third of those result from a failure to clean the dryer. One task in particular that is often forgotten is cleaning the dryer vent. This essential home maintenance task should be completed at least once each year. 08 of 15 Clear the Gutters Edmund Barr Thousands of people are injured annually as a result of ladder falls. Luckily, there are a number of ways to clean your gutters from the safety of the ground, which can prevent thousands of dollars in water damage. And if you do decide to clean gutters using a ladder, follow these tips to check this outdoor maintenance task off your checklist safely and swiftly. 09 of 15 Clean or Replace a Faucet Aerator Kim Cornelison If your faucet is running inconsistently or has a partial flow, the problem likely lies right at the tip of your faucet rather than with your plumbing or water supply. Inside the faucet is something called an aerator, which can become clogged with sediment or lime and calcium buildup over time. Cleaning or replacing your faucet's aerator could be all it takes to get your faucet back up and running. 10 of 15 Change HVAC Filters Grandbrothers/Adobe Stock Depending on the type of filter, your HVAC filter could need replacing every 30 days. Additionally, if you have pets, that number could reduce to every 20 days. To keep your HVAC system running efficiently all year long, it's worth getting to know how often you should change your HVAC filters. And if your HVAC system utilizes reusable filters, follow these instructions for cleaning an air filter. 11 of 15 Check and Maintain Your HVAC System Helen Norman Beyond changing your home's air filters, there are several simple ways you can set your family and your heat and air unit up for seasonal success. Take the time to check and maintain your HVAC system before each season to keep it performing its best. 12 of 15 Change a Door Lock Greg Scheidemann When moving into a new place, parting ways with a roommate or tenant, or making aesthetic updates to your home, you'll likely want to change the door locks. Skip the call to the handyman and learn to do it yourself. This home improvement project typically takes only a day to complete while providing an updated style with increased security. The 8 Best Smart Locks of 2023 to Safely Secure Your Home 13 of 15 Replace a Shattered Lightbulb Brie Williams Sure, everyone knows how to change a lightbulb, but what about a broken bulb? Sometimes, old lightbulbs separate from their bases, while others simply shatter. You can safely remove the threaded portion by turning off the power at the breaker and unscrewing it using needle-nose pliers. 14 of 15 Snake a Drain Helen Norman Once you own a home, there's no more calling your landlord when the drains clog. Sure, you can call a plumber, but once you learn how easy it is to snake a drain, you'll be shocked at the money you can save by doing the job yourself. A drain snake can reach up to 25 feet and is ideal for clearing soft clogs in sinks, bathtubs, and showers. 15 of 15 Fix a Loose Door Hinge Kritsada Panichgul In well-loved homes, door hinges often become loose, causing doors to sag and stick. Left unchecked, damage can occur to the door, the other hinge points, and the frame. To circumvent any additional issues and remedy the loose hinge, all you need is a small piece of wood like a match stick. Learn to troubleshoot your door hinge problems to set yourself up for success. Keep Your Home Running Smoothly Following this quick home maintenance crash course will help mitigate costly repairs and keep your home looking and functioning as it should. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Better Homes & Gardens is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources—including peer-reviewed studies—to support the facts in our articles. Read about our editorial policies and standards to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fatal injuries from ladders down in 2020; nonfatal ladder injuries were essentially unchanged at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/fatal-injuries-from-ladders-down-in-2020-nonfatal-ladder-injuries-were-essentially-unchanged.htm (visited February 22, 2023).