Technology helps you protect your property with home security systems and allows you to watch TV and movies in high definition. However, the same devices that make your life easier can also create complications when they break down. Most people have become dependent on their technology, so waiting for repairs can seem excruciating. Luckily, not all tech issues require professionals to fix – most of the problems you run into you can repair on your own.

Computer is Running Slow

Waiting for your computer to pick up the pace can be frustrating, especially if you work from home and have to get something done. Here’s the thing – there are a ton of reasons why your computer may be running slow, which means it’s time to do some sleuthing. The process of elimination will be your best friend when figuring out why your computer is moving about as fast as a snail. Start by ruling out the web browser. Sometimes the Internet isn’t loading and that isn’t your computer’s fault. Minimize your browser and pull up a program that is on your hard drive, like a word processor. If that’s fine, then the Internet is your issue.

If other programs are also running slow, then you might have too many stored on your computer, or perhaps a certain one is causing issues. Install an anti-virus package and run a disk cleanup regularly to avoid program issues.

The Internet is Slow

While working with your slow computer, you may have noticed that your Internet is actually the problem. It could be a few things: either the connection has been lost or your speed is poor and you’re trying to force the Internet to do something it can’t (like stream an HD movie with only three megabytes per second). First check your computer’s wireless connection, which will tell you if the device is able to get online. If the Wi-Fi is out, then you need to check your router and modem next.

The router and/or modem will have lights on the side that tell you whether the device is online. If the connection light if off, you aren’t getting on the Internet. A cut connection is bad for a lot of reasons – your home security system may not be able to talk to your SMART Connect app, which uses broadband, and you won’t be able to surf the web. Solve the problem by restarting the modem and router. If that doesn’t work, call your Internet service provider.

Refrigerator Dies

Internet and computer issues aren’t the only tech problems you’ll encounter – your appliances can conk out too. A dead refrigerator is often caused by the buildup of pet hair around the coils. Check this first by looking for the tube-and-wire grid beneath or on the back of the appliance. The coils cool the fluid inside the compressor, which is what keeps your food chilly. Pet hair could cause the coils to overheat, thus putting the fridge into overload. Run a duster over the coils, then vacuum them clean.

Gas Won’t Start

If you have a gas stove that just won’t turn on, you may want to try cleaning it. Don’t call the repairman until you’ve washed he stove because the problem often comes from food that is stuck on the igniter. The same issue can occur with electric stoves, so you should pull out the coils and clean the connection.

Home Security Power Failure

Your home alarm monitoring system may cease functioning if the power isn’t connected to the device. Start by making sure your AC power cables are all connected. If not, plug them in. If they are and there’s still an issue, check your breakers and transformers. Fortunately, backup batteries will keep the security system running in the event of a power outage.