We all know some old wives’ tales that we swear by – for example nail polish will stop a run in your tights! But there are a few wives’ tales that can actually hurt you and when it comes to the safety and preservation of your house – why gamble?
Myth #1: Lemons Are Great for Cleaning Garbage Disposals
What it could cost you:A plumber’s visit (and maybe a new disposal)
The better way: Turn on the disposal and, while running cold water, dump in two or more trays of ice cubes. Despite the clamor, this will safely dislodge buildup on the walls and the impellers, which grind up the food. Use vinegar to deodorize.
Myth #2: Use Duct Tape to Seal Ductwork
What it could cost you:Pricier energy bills
The better way: Use duct mastic (a gooey substance kind of like caulk that dries after applied) to seal metal and flexible ductwork, and use it along with a layer of fiberglass mesh for gaps larger than 1/16 of an inch wide. Use gloves with metal ducts because the edges can be sharp, and mastic is messy stuff.
Myth #3: Bleach Will Banish Mold
What it could cost you:A threat to your health, plus hundreds of $ (even thousands)
The better way: Use a commercial anti-fungal product to take out mold at its roots. And only tackle mold removal yourself if the area is less than 10 square feet and you use protective gear, such as a respirator and chemical-resistant gloves. Otherwise, call in a mold remediation specialist who’ll know how to remove it without spreading it’s yucky (and potentially harmful) spores.
Myth #4: Change Your HVAC Filter Every Month
What it could cost you:Around $100 a year
The better way: The Department of Energy recommends checking, but not necessarily changing, your air filter every month. Change it if it looks dirty, replacing it at least once every three months.
Myth #5: Buy a Rinse Aid for Spot-Free Dishes
What it could cost you:Dollars instead of cents
Money Tip: Rinse aid does help dishes dry faster, which stops those annoying wet drips from top rack to bottom when you unload. But instead of spending money, unload the bottom rack first while letting the top rack air dry.
Myth #6: Home Improvement is Always a Good Investment
What it could cost you:Thousands of dollars in disappointment
The better way: First off, your own happiness matters, so by all means, follow your remodeling bliss if you’re financially able. But if payback is important, do some research and talk to a REALTOR® who knows what buyers are seeking in your market. The Remodeling Impact Report from The National Association of REALTORS® (the sponsor of HouseLogic) is a fantastic resource to get the scoop on what projects will boost your equity the most. For example, it points out that small projects such as an insulation upgrade, refinishing floors, and even seeding your lawn will recoup almost all, and in some cases more than, your original investment.
Myth #7: Put Dryer Sheets in Air Vents for a Sweet Smell
What it could cost you:Higher energy bills and a potential fire hazard
The better way: If fragrant air is what you’re after, there are no shortage of options available that won’t burn your house down. Give each room — or each day — a signature scent with all-natural scented candles, sprays, oils, and aromatherapy devices. If you’re seeking a scent to mask an offensive odor, however, it’s important to find and remove the source. Some stinky suspects — like mold, mildew, sewage, and gas leaks — can carry health risks.
Myth #8: Product Warranties Will Save on Repair Costs
What it could cost you:$50 to $100 or more
The better way: Maintain the appliance as recommended by the manufacturer, and smartly stash the dollars you would spend on a warranty in a repair fund instead. Also, buy with a major credit card, such as AmEx or Visa. Many credit card companies extend product warranties (for free!) up to a year or so. Might be worth checking to see if yours does.