Published on August 14, 2020

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Photography by Aaron Bengochea

This summer we’ve been tackling more DIY projects than ever, whether it’s adding a stock tank pool to the backyard, hanging the perfect bookshelves, or finally painting those kitchen cabinets. But sometimes it’s nice to get advice from a professional—especially for tricky home repairs like fixing the thermostat or a leaky faucet. If you’ve been putting off an onerous project because you’re worried about hiring a pro in this time of social distancing, you might want to check out a new service called HomeX.

HomeX’s Remote Assist tool lets you talk to plumbers, electricians, and HVAC techs over the phone or video-chat to diagnose and solve all kinds of common home repairs. According to the company, 40 percent of issues can be corrected remotely—without ever having a technician come into your home. The cost? Just $50 (and you only pay if your problem gets resolved).

So what repairs can you do at home yourself (with a little remote help)? Vincent Payen, the cofounder and president of HomeX, shares three problems that clients frequently ask about, all of which can usually be fixed without calling a pro. Check out his tips, below.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Payen says clients often call when their thermostat is reading “blank.” If this happens to you, the answer could be as simple as changing the batteries. “Most programmable thermostats have backup batteries that will eventually need to be replaced,” he explains.

Leaky AC System

The key here is prevention. Payen says that AC systems can leak water if the drain gets backed up, so it should be cleaned annually. If you have a window unit, you should clean the filter every two weeks.

Garbage Disposal Problems

It’s not pretty, but Payen notes many homeowners call about clogged garbage disposals. The secret, though, is usually just hitting the reset button. Monthly cleans will also help prevent clogs in the first place.

Introducing Domino’s new podcast, Design Time, where we explore spaces with meaning. Each week, join editor-in-chief Jessica Romm Perez along with talented creatives and designers from our community to explore how to create a home that tells your story. Listen now and subscribe for new episodes every Thursday.

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