We hear advice on how to take care of our homes all the time. Especially when you’re a new homeowner, you’ll be getting advice from everyone. But what is fact and what is fiction? We’re here to myth-bust some of the common misconceptions about home maintenance.
Myth: The dishwasher is self cleaning
While this would be really cool, it’s sadly not true. Simply running your dishwasher will not clean it. Periodic cleaning is needed to sanitize your dishwasher and make sure your dishes are actually coming out clean after every wash. The easiest way to clean your dishwasher is to fill a dishwasher safe bowl with vinegar and place it in the center of the bottom rack. Run your dishwasher through a hot water cycle with no soap and the vinegar should break down food, grime, grease and soap scum that tends to build up. If there are mineral deposits left over when the cycle is finished, you can use a dishwasher cleaner to remove these.
Myth: You can clean your garbage disposal with things in your kitchen
Many people use lemon juice, coffee grounds, or salt to clean and sharpen the blades in their garbage disposals. While this sounds like a good idea, those solutions can actually corrode or damage the blades. The best solution would be to use baking soda. Baking soda will de-gunk your garbage disposal and its blade a lot better than the previously mentioned solutions. While this won’t sharpen the blades, there are other ways to achieve this than using coffee grounds or salt.
Myth: Bathroom exhaust fans don’t need to be maintained
The heat and humidity from showers and other factors create the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. Your bathroom fan breaks up this humidity to prevent that growth, but it cannot do its job if the vent is clogged with grime and dust. This vent plays a part in keeping the air quality good in your home. The best way to take care of it is to clean the fan every 6-12 months by removing the vent and cleaning it as well as the fan itself.
Myth: Furnace filters need to be changed every season
Indoor air has between 2-5 times more pollutants than outside, which is why having clean filters is so important. These filters not only improve air quality but can also have an effect on your energy bill. If your AC is struggling to push clean air out, it will end up costing you more. If you live in a dry and dusty location, you will want to change your air filter every month or so. This will help with any allergies you may have as well. If you live in a more lush and humid environment, it’s a good idea to change your air filters every 3 months at the least.
Myth: You can turn off your AC when you aren't home to save money
This is a popular myth and one that has been said dozens of times. While this would be convenient in the summer and winter months, it is not true. In fact, all the money you saved while it was off will just be canceled out when you have to restart the AC. Your AC also dehumidifies your home. If the humidity levels are constantly varying, this can create mold growth inside the home. If you want to save some money on your energy bill every month, best advice is to simply adjust your temperature by 5-10 degrees. This will lessen the amount of time your AC is on and will keep your home dehumidified and safe from mold issues.
Myth: Water heater tanks don't require maintenance
Water heaters do need some maintenance every year at least. You should have your water heater drained every year to remove water sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the tank. If it is not drained, you are at risk of a clog within your water heater which is a lot more expensive to fix. While you are draining the tank, it’s good practice to also check for minor leaks or any signs of corrosion as those will need to be repaired quickly.
Myth: Only the inside of the refrigerator needs to be cleaned
Some think that the refrigerator just needs to be cleaned on the inside. But what if I told you there was a whole world of dust underneath and behind the refrigerator? This is often overlooked by homeowners. Not paying attention to the cleanliness of your refrigerator can result in significantly less efficiency and will need to be replaced much quicker than if it was maintained. Refrigerator maintenance is very simple, luckily. If you pull your refrigerator away from the wall, you will see the coils. These need to be vacuumed to get all the dust and grime off. While you are cleaning the refrigerator, give the door gaskets a good wipe down. This will make sure your refrigerator is sealing closed correctly and properly protecting the food you have inside.
Myth: Gutter maintenance is only for the fall
This is a common misconception about gutter maintenance. While there is a lot more during the fall, debris can accumulate all year long. It is best to clean your gutters during the spring and fall, but if there is debris stacking up in the summer, they still need to be cleaned. Your gutters protect the outside and inside of your home when they are properly maintained. Cleaning them anytime you see debris beginning to build up is best practice.
Myth: You can test your smoke detectors using the “test” button
While testing your home’s smoke detectors is a great idea, this is not the way to do it. The test button is good for testing the system’s alarm and making sure it works properly, but will not test whether or not the smoke detector is recognizing smoke and alarming everyone in the home. The best way to properly test them is to light a match or two a few feet underneath the smoke detector and make sure it will detect the smoke and sound the alarm.
Myth: Cutting your grass shorter will create more time between mows
Every kind of grass has an ideal height for the best growth and establishment of the root system. It is important to research and find the ideal height for your lawn. After you have this answer, it is advised that you use the ⅓ rule. This means cutting only the top third of your lawn when you mow. This will keep your grass from being too short and more susceptible to disease, heat damage, drought, and weeds. As much as we wish that cutting the lawn short would create more time before the next mow, this myth is untrue.
Myth: I have to do all my home maintenance myself
A lot of homeowners think that all maintenance is on them. But this isn’t true. Having a plan for your home and hiring the right people can make all the difference in the amount of time you need to put into your maintenance. Having a team like Maestro Maintenance, can take a lot of tasks off your plate. Maestro Maintenance is here to take care of your home and create a plan for you. If you ever need any of these tasks completed by a trustworthy company, call Maestro Maintenance Management. We’ve got your back!