If you are buying a house for the first time, there are some things every homeowner should know. Prepare yourself for success by covering your bases in these areas.

Pipes Can Freeze and Burst

One preventable problem that every homeowner should know about is frozen plumbing pipes. When outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, exposed pipes are vulnerable to cold temperatures. The water inside them freezes and expands, causing an interruption in water or even bursting the pipe.

To prevent this, wrap foam insulation around exterior pipes before winter arrives. Also, detach garden hoses from spigots in freezing weather. Turn faucets on a slow drip to release the pressure that can build up inside pipes during cold temperatures. Taking these precautions will help to avoid a costly burst pipe.

Every Homeowner Should Know How to Use the Electrical Panel

You should know where your electrical panel is and which breaker corresponds to which room or appliance. Occasionally a breaker may trip and you’ll need to flip the switch to turn the power back on. If your panel box isn’t already labeled, figure out what each switch controls and label them.

Where the Property Lines Are

You should know where the boundaries of your property are located. Once you establish these, you’ll know which trees are your responsibility, where you can build a fence, and how far you should mow the lawn. The property lines may already be marked with stakes or poles, or you might need to order a survey to have the lot marked. You can also check your property deed which will have a map of your property lines.

Every Homeowner Should Know How to Change the HVAC Filter

Changing the HVAC filter is a simple task that is important to stay on top of. As a homeowner, you should know where the HVAC filter is located and how to change it. Keep some replacements on hand so that you always have a fresh one ready. Read the HVAC system’s manual to learn how often the filter needs replacing, usually anywhere from 30 days to 6 months, depending on your unit and filter.

How to Turn Off the Water Main

In a plumbing emergency, like an overflowing washing machine or a burst pipe, the first thing to do is turn off the water main to stop flooding. Find out where the water main shutoff is located. You may also need to turn it off if you are having plumbing work done. Your water main may be underground by the curb. It may also be in an interior wall towards the front of the house or near the water heater.

True North Home Inspections provides home inspection services to New Jersey. Contact us to schedule an appointment.