When it comes to the DIY culture of our times, it’s easy to forget that being able to repair things yourself wasn’t a fad or the cool thing to do. At one point, the idea of calling a repair person to install appliance parts in your home was somewhat alien as many homeowners were very self-sufficient and could do the work themselves.

There is something to be said about being able to handle basic appliance repairs in your home. You’ll need just a few tools and a little time to get the job done. Nothing makes a repair easier than already having the right parts on hand, and these five parts can be quite the blessing:

Light Bulbs – When it comes to making your home run as smoothly as possible, nothing makes this easier than being able to see where you’re going. Most figure the idea of having light bulbs on hand is a no-brainer, but can you actually find your stash of bulbs when you need them? More importantly, maybe having a supply of bulbs isn’t your cup of tea. Perhaps then it might be best to see what type of longer-life efficient bulbs are now on the market. You can have fewer on hand, but you feel confident in the dependability of the bulbs you’re using.

Furnace Filters – If you’re having a hard time remembering the size, or location of, your furnace filters, there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t looked at them in a while. This usually means that it’s probably time for a replacement. A dirty filter makes your HVAC system work harder, and this wears down your furnace. Replacing your filter depends on how much stuff you have floating around in your house. You should also take into consideration your family’s health issues, and if there are any family members that have asthma or severe allergies, a frequent filter change may be the way to go.

Toilet Fill Valve – Having your toilet, or toilets, be unable to do their job is a real pain. Internal toilet tank parts will quit on you without warning. There aren’t many parts to tinker with, so it is a great idea to have a few toilet fill valve kits on hand based on the number of toilets in your home. This way, if there is any part failure, you can just as easily replace all the pieces needed to fix the problem.

Agitator Dogs for Your Washing Machine – You’ve probably never heard of these things, but you will know pretty quickly when they need to be replaced. The agitator ratchets back and forth, creating the motion that helps wash your clothing. At some point, you may notice that the ratcheting motion isn’t quite operating as it should. A likely culprit is the agitator dogs inside the agitator assembly. While the repair seem heinous, the parts are usually less than $10, require minimal tools, and the repair can take less than ten minutes. Granted, your washing machine can handle years of abuse, but when its primary function isn’t hindered, you will be thankful to have these small parts on hand.

Vacuum Cleaner Belts – Vacuum cleaners are commonly plagued with broken belts and clogs. Usually the problems start when vacuums are asked to do more than they should. Vacuum belts break because they’re made of rubber and will burn or break if something stops the brush from turning. Belts are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, so keeping one on hand for your vacuum is highly recommended.

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