There is a lot of misinformation out there on how to properly maintain your home that can make your home unsafe or cost you a lot money. We have compiled a few of the most common home maintenance myths that you will want to avoid.
MYTH #1: You can test your smoke detector by only pushing the button.
Pushing the button will only test if the alarm sound is working. The best way to test your smoke detector is by placing a couple lit matches under the unit. Or if you are like me, you have unintentionally tested yours by burning breakfast which is not recommend.
MYTH #2: Closing off your heating/cooling vents in the rooms you are not using will save you money.
Your heating/cooling system is designed for your entire house. If you close off vents in your home, it will cause your system to turn on and off more frequently. This will use a lot more energy.
MYTH #3: You only need to replace the furnace filter twice a year. Once in the spring and once during the winter.
The frequency that your filter needs to be changed can vary depending on how long the unit runs, the quality of the filter and the location of your unit. Dirty/clogged filters can cause your unit to work harder and may cause premature failure of your unit. Cheap fiberglass mesh filters should be changed monthly. If your home or the area around your furnace is dusty you will want to check your filter regularly.
MYTH #4: Duct tape should be used to seal any leaks or openings on your ductwork.
If your furnace is doing its job properly, the hot air flowing through your ductwork will eventually dissolve the glue. They do make products specifically for this purpose. It is best to consult your HVAC contractor if you suspect that you are having any problems.
MYTH #5: More insulation is better.
Makes sense right. Wrong! If insulation is not installed properly it can actually be counterproductive. Too much insulation, especially in the attic can cause condensation, mold and rot. Check with the US Department of Energy to find out how much insulation is recommended for your area. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/weatherize/insulation
MYTH #6: Cleaning the lint out of your dryer every time you use it will prevent fires and help your dryer run more efficiently.
This is partially true. You do need to remove the visible lint from the lint screen every time you use the dryer; however, we tend to forget about the lint that is less visible. Your dryer ducts should be cleaned regularly to help reduce the risk of fire. This will also help your clothes to dry faster and your dryer will use less energy.