When it comes to keeping homes in tip-top condition, new research(1) by E.ON reveals a third of Brits struggle to tackle home maintenance tasks (34%). Some 15% of people say they can’t change a light bulb without help and almost a third need help mowing the lawn (29%). To relieve the pressure on parents, and help fill the knowledge gap, E.ON has partnered with author, podcaster and digital expert Emma Gannon for DIY advice.
Energy-related tasks are the area people feel least comfortable tackling. Two thirds of people are unable to re-pressurise their boiler without help (65%), 40% don’t know how to bleed a radiator, and a similar number struggle to set the timer on their heating (41%). And almost one in five struggle to read their energy meter (19%).
Despite having flown the nest, family members are still the go-to when it comes to advice on home-care tasks. Parents are the most trusted source of help for all age groups up to 55(2), and on average people are almost twice as likely to trust them (23%) as they are paid professionals (12%). For almost a third (29%), the reaction to not knowing how to do a task is simply to wait for a family member to come and do it for them.
Lack of knowledge was the number one reason people put off tackling these tasks themselves (37%), while worrying about damaging the property (15%) or making the problem worse (22%) were also high on the list.
The majority of Brits say they haven’t turned to technology for help on home maintenance tasks (57%), but there’s a real role tech can play.
Top tech-tips from Emma to help you overcome your home maintenance demons:
1. Rise of the video tutorial
If you need to learn how to put up a curtain rail, change a light bulb or read your gas meter, YouTube almost always has an answer. According to E.ON, 15% of Brits can’t change a light bulb without help – well now, thanks to the internet, we can teach ourselves new things with a click of a button and never get confused by an instruction manual again. Other online video hubs such as SkillShare and Masterclass are all on the rise, encouraging people to teach themselves new skills.
2. App-lying technology
There are multiple apps out there to make dealing with home maintenance less of a chore but let’s face it, there are some things you just don’t want to do. Thanks to apps like TaskRabbit, getting an expert in to help with home maintenance has never been easier and it gives your parents a break. On the app, simply describe the task you need doing (upholstering, electrics, painting) and get matched to a fully vetted ‘Tasker’. Choose them by their hourly rate, pay via the app and voila, you have yourself a shelf.
3. Go smart
Research from E.ON found that energy-related tasks like reading your meter are where people feel least confident. But if you get yourself a self-reading smart meter, they automatically send readings to your supplier for you and give you an easy-to-use display to see how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence in near-real time.
4. Stop the thermostat wars
Programming the timer on your heating can be tough – with 41% of people saying this is something they struggle with. Keep your house at the right temperature with a smart thermostat like tado° from E.ON. With its simple, easy to understand interface you can control heating from the touch of your phone, wherever you are.
Over the last five years, more and more of us are hitting up forums and our social media feeds to crowdsource information on DIY. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are still great ways to get close-to-home recommendations from people we know (or sometimes don’t know) for anything related to DIY or our home. Why not ask someone who has experienced the same problems you have?
6. Say the word
When doing tasks and DIY, it can be frustrating having to down tools to check the instructions. However, with home assistants like Google Home, Siri and Alexa, you can play YouTube tutorials, tick tasks off your to-do list or call mum or dad for help all by just saying the word. Now you can re-pressurise the boiler or put up that bookcase without having to take a break.
For more information about how E.ON can help you master your home, visit eonenergy.com/masterofyourownhome.
Emma Gannon photo - Holly McGlynn
Lightbulb photo - E.ON