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10 Common Home Myths Busted!

In a time where home maintenance shows are on tv around the clock and homeowners can share the latest household time on social media with the click of a button, there is no shortage of home maintenance advice. These tips have been shared so many times, that most people take them at face value and don’t even question their validity before making them a part of their home care routine. So it may be surprising to learn that many commonly known tips are in fact wrong and could end up causing more harm than good. Here are 10 common myths and what you can do instead.

1. Throw a Lemon Down the Disposal to Eliminate Smells
The citric acid in a lemon will eliminate odors, but it will also cause rust. On top of that, frequent spins with lemons can cause the blades of your disposal to wear down and ultimately cause damage to your pipes. Instead, try throwing baking soda down your drain. It will neutralize the odor and it won’t eat away at the metal.

2. Turn off Your AC or Heat When You Leave
While you don’t need to keep your house at a particular temperature while you are gone, you are going to want it back at that temperature when you return. Let’s say you turn off the AC during the summer while you are at work. When you get home you are going to want to relax in a cool house. But since you have turned off the air for the day, the temperature of the house has increased and the AC now has to work extra hard to get the house back to the desired temperature.

3. Cut Your Lawn Shorter to Cut it Less Often
Though the logic behind this one may be true, it may take longer for the grass to grow back, this tip is not practical. Not only is grass that is cut too short just plain ugly, but it also creates a perfect breeding ground for pests and disease. What you thought was time saver has now turned into a chore when you have to reseed your lawn.

4. Stone Countertops are Indestructible
No matter how solid your countertop is, if it is hit with enough force, it can sustain damage. In addition, most countertops are sensitive to heat, scratches, and acids. Be delicate with your countertops. Avoid slamming anything down on them and always use a cutting board.

5. Check Your Smoke Detector by Pressing the Test Button
The only thing pressing the test button does is prove that the detector is still capable of emitting a sound. It does not test the sensor within the smoke detector. If you are looking to test the sensor, light a match and blow it out in the direction of the smoke detector.

6. Ceiling Fans Should Only be Used When it’s Hot
Most people don’t know that ceiling fans turn in both directions. In fact, some people have their fans set in reverse and they don’t even know it. During the summer, you should make sure that the fan pushes the air down. Whereas in the winter, you should switch the direction of the fan so that it pulls the air up.

7. The More Insulation, the Better
An excess amount of insulation can make it hard for your house to “breathe”. The insulation makes it more difficult for the air in your house to circulate. This can create a damp environment, just the type environment mold likes to grow in. The amount of insulation you need depends on the climate you live in, so check with a professional to see how much your home needs.

8. You Don’t Need an Exhaust Fan in Your Bathroom if it has a Window
Even though most local codes don’t require an exhaust fan if a bathroom has a window, you really should get one. These codes rely on the logic that you if you have a window your bathroom, you will keep it open while you shower. In most cases, that’s not the case. Most people keep their bathroom windows closed when they are running the shower. Without an exhaust fan, the moisture will build up and create mold in your bathroom.

9. CFL Bulbs are Expensive and Dangerous
The truth is, CFL bulbs don’t contain enough Mercury to hurt anyone. They don’t pose any danger to you, even if you break them. As far as costs go, the average CFL bulb only costs $3 and one single bulb can end up saving you $60 over the life of the bulb.

10. You Don’t Need a Permit for Your Next Remodel
Though you may save money by foregoing the permit or hiring your friend to do the work, it can cost you in the long run. For one, when you get a permit, an inspector will make sure the work is up to code. Another reason, if your electrical job starts a fire or that new wall you installed collapses in on itself, the insurance company won’t pay for the damages once they find out you didn’t pull a permit.

Be informed with the decisions you make with your house. A smart homeowner will not only have a house they can take pride in, but they likely will save money too.

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