If you own a home, or are renting a home, or are somehow responsible for a home, then you should at least have a basic running knowledge of the appliances and equipment around your house. Surprisingly, lots and lots of people aren’t familiar with even the most common applications of troubleshooting where they live, which is why it’s more important than ever to do a tiny bit of research to prevent potentially catastrophic damages in the future.

If you understand the basics of water heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, and your fuse box, that is an excellent place to start concerning knowing how to do basic troubleshooting with appliances and equipment that is probably running pretty much all the time at your home base.

Water Heaters

Do you like having hot water? Do you like hot showers? Do you like being able to do laundry on a high heat setting? Do you like being able to do the dishes in a way that cleans and sterilizes them? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you need to know how your water heater works! There are a few different types of water heaters, so if you don’t know which kind you have, typically gas or electric, then now is the time to look. You should also have a basic understanding of how to turn the water on and off to your water tank, and what to do in case the tank is either leaking or knocking, which are two of the most common issues. It’s a good idea to know when the water heater was installed, as you’ll then have an idea of when you might need your water heater replaced. Depending on the type of heater, they typically last between 6 and 12 years, though tankless heaters can last as long as 20 years!

Air Conditioners

If you are living in a warm climate, then you probably depend on your air conditioner. Do you know how to troubleshoot your air conditioner? You understand how many amps it needs from your electrical circuits? Do you know how to clean it? Do you know what mold smells like once it starts getting pushed around by your air conditioning system? Do you know how to carry out basic AC Repair? Learn about vents! Find out how to reset fuses. If you have portable units, be sure you understand how to install and uninstall them safely! Knowing a little bit can save you a lot of money if you don’t want to call repair people in the heat of summer.


Lots of people run into a situation where they have to get rid of ice in their refrigerators. This isn’t as much of a problem with modern units, but you have to defrost some of the older ones if there is a buildup around the cooling units. If you don’t know how to defrost a refrigerator, now is the time to learn! Many times it doesn’t take anything more than a little bit of knowledge and a hairdryer.

The Fuse Box

And finally, many people are afraid of their fuse box. It’s in a dark corner of the basement. Or perhaps they are scared of getting electrocuted. It’s important that you and your whole family go down and check out the fuse box and understand how to turn circuits on and off, and understand where all the circuits go to as far as which sockets and appliances are at the end of the line. A little knowledge goes a long way to prevent damage or unnecessary frustration.