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Five Common Home Maintenance Myths

Five Common Home Maintenance Myths

Learn the truth about common home maintenance myths, and contact Odd Job Larry for help with all of your home maintenance needs!

Myth 1: Laundry bleach is the best product to remove mold and keep it from returning.

EPA researchers compared 12 over-the-counter cleaning products with household bleach. They used each product to clean the mold on individual samples of painted and bare drywall. The samples were then stored under ideal growing conditions for mold and monitored to see how much mold returned after cleaning. Bleach scored the worst on bare drywall! It performed better on painted drywall, but not as well as the leading cleaning product: Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner.

Myth 2: Cheese is the best bait for mouse traps.

Contrary to what cartoons have been teaching us for years, cheese isn’t on any mouse’s “top-10 list.” In fact, they’ll only eat it if nothing else is available. Cheese also hardens after sitting out, making it easier for mice to “steal” the bait without setting off the trap. The PERFECT bait is actually peanut butter or bacon, or a blend of peanut butter and bacon/bacon grease. Mice can’t resist the smell and taste!

Myth 3: Duct cleaning is something that should be done regularly.

Most homes never need duct cleaning! There are some exceptions, however. If you find mold, rodent, or insect nests in the ducts, eliminate the source of the contamination or infiltration and have the ducts professionally cleaned and disinfected. Avoid cheap duct cleaning “specials” for $100 or less. Those low-cost services usually just blow compressed air through the ducts. That gets the loose dust moving, but it doesn’t CLEAN your ductwork.

Myth 4: You should twist the wires before you put on the wire nut.

This advice comes right from the wire nut manufacturers! You do NOT have to twist the wires before applying the wire nut. Most high-quality wire nuts incorporate a square-cut spring-steel wire that bites into the copper wires as you twist it on. The spring wire expands and contracts as the electrical wires heat and cool, keeping them tightly bound. Keep turning the nut until the wire insulation is twisted 1-1/2 in. past the wire nut to make the best connection possible.

wire nut, electrical

Myth 5: Setback thermostats don’t save money.

Sure, the furnace has to pump out a lot of BTUs to bring the house back up to the daytime temp. However, studies have proven that the fuel savings far outweigh the cost of raising the temp again. Set the temperature back at least 5 degrees at night and 10 degrees during the day (when no one is home) and you’ll save 20 percent on your heating/cooling bill. That will more than pay for the cost of the setback thermostat in the first year. (You can also adjust the temp 10 degrees in the summer as well!)

thermostat, hvac