10 Common Home Myths Busted

Backyard grass area with a lawnmower

In a time where home maintenance shows are on TV around the clock and homeowners can share the latest household tips 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 most people take them at face value and don’t question their validity. So it may be surprising to learn many commonly known tips are in fact wrong and could cause 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 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 cut too short just plain ugly, but also creates a perfect breeding ground for pests and disease. What you thought was a time saver may turn 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 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 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 the fan pushes the air down. Whereas in the winter, you should switch the direction of the fan so 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, the type environment mold likes to grow in. The amount of insulation you need depends on the climate where you live, 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 if you have a window I 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 can 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.

Are you looking for a new home in the San Joaquin Valley or Bakersfield to test out these remedies? SJV Homes now has open for sale 10 communities with a combined 845 single-family homes. If you would like more information, sign up for our interest list here.

Lisa Walker