Household Myths Busted
You've likely heard many different things as a homeowner, and much of what's out there is passed along as truth, when it's anything but. Here, we'll examine a few different household beliefs that simply aren't true.
The Bathroom Exhaust Fan
You may have heard that an exhaust fan is only needed in a bathroom that doesn't have a window. While building code in the past may or may not have allowed bathrooms to be built without exhaust fans, it's still a tremendously good idea to have one. Simply put, bathrooms need exhaust fans to help prevent moisture problems.
The biggest problem is that most people don't open their windows while bathing, or they don't keep them open long enough to remove the condensation.
As people take showers and baths, moisture gets pumped into the air. During the winter months, this moisture condenses on walls and windows, and can oftentimes snake its way into the attic where it will create frost. As you are checking out homes which feature bathrooms that exceed the expectations of code requirements look into new homes built in Idaho.
Bathrooms, windowless or not, should contain an exhaust fan that vents to the outside of the house, not the attic. Use the fan for at least 15 to 30 minutes to remove all humidity. Humidity can lead to nasty problems such as mold, mildew and rot.
The more expensive, the better, right? Not necessarily. You may have found yourself pondering the question if the extra money is really worth it. Quite simply, the job of a furnace filter is to keep dust, pet hair and other stuff from getting into the furnace heat exchange or the air conditioner air cooler and clogging things up.
The bottom line is that furnace filters are not intended to purify the air in your house. They're there to protect equipment.
Expensive pleated filters or allergy filters are thick and coated with chemicals. When using this kind of filter, the motor on your furnace has to work harder to pull air through it. Your furnace, and your wallet, are better off sticking to the plain old regular fiberglass disposable filters and changing them out every month.
Too Much Insulation?
A home can have too much and too little insulation, too little and badly installed being the culprit more often than not. The U.S. Department of Energy says that attic insulation is one of the most cost-effective energy saving improvements you can make to your home, but installing too much can be counterproductive.
Your home needs plenty of air circulation. Sometimes homeowners have to install a mechanical ventilation to ensure that the house can still breathe. Ventilation is necessary to prevent condensation, mold and rot. When looking for a home that has plenty of ventilation check out the homes in Boise, Idaho.
Bleach and Mold
Chlorine bleach does not kill mold. Here's why.
Mold's roots actually grow into wood and drywall, where bleach cannot reach it. The ion structure of bleach prevents it from penetrating into these porous materials. So, when you spray bleach onto the surface of your walls, that's where it stays, only partially killing the surface layer of mold. Meanwhile, the water penetration of the building materials harbors further mold growth.
Not to mention that bleach is an extremely destructive chemical and eats away at the surfaces it's applied to.
The EPA has done research on this topic with over the counter products and diluted household bleach, resulting with the diluted bleach scoring the worst.
Water Your Grass at Night
The best time of day to water your lawn is actually in the early morning when moisture is able to reach the roots while the leaf surfaces are able to become dry. When you water your lawn at night or in the evening, it creates a humid environment. This excessive moisture is a breeding ground for diseases.
The Do it Yourself Network suggests watering the lawn between 5 a.m. and no later than 10 a.m., and unless you want to slave yourself to the process, an automatic system is best.
The button test on your smoke alarm is all you need to ensure the unit is working correctly, right? Actually, the button test just tells you that the batteries are working, not if the detector is actually operating correctly. Dummies.com suggests lighting three matches together, blow them out, then hold the matches so that the smoke wafts up toward the unit.
Over the years, your smoke detectors have endured hours and hours of continuous operation. The internal sensors have likely been contaminated by indoor air pollutant residue and dust. Smoke detectors should be changed out every ten years or so.
epa.gov: Indoor Air Quality
dummies.com: How to Test Smoke Alarms in Your Home
diynetwork: The Right Way to Water a Lawn
weatherchannel.com: Insulation Fact Sheet