Many commonly held beliefs about your home’s care and maintenance are flat out wrong. The sooner you get the straight scoop, the better, to keep your home and family safer and healthier. Expand your knowledge and spread the word!
FACT: It’s not true for Filtrete™ Filters, which are designed with exclusive Filtrete™ Brand 3-in-1 technology from 3M to pull in and trap unwanted air particles while letting cleaner air flow through.
So, don’t believe the idea that high-efficiency filters trap so many air particles that they actually restrict airflow, putting undue stress on your heating and cooling system. Through continuous development and testing, 3M scientists work to ensure this does not happen.
However, know that changing your filter at least every three months is key to maintaining proper airflow, as well as better air quality. You should consider changing your air filter more often if your home has sensitive breathers and/or poor air quality risk factors such as pets, smokers, construction or excessive air pollution or pollen.
FACT: All that test will tell you is if the alarm on your detector works. It’s a great start, but how do you know if the thing actually senses smoke? Hold two or three blown-out matches under the detector. If it doesn’t go off, fix or replace.
What’s more, the National Fire Protection Association recommends that you check detectors monthly—say, every first Sunday—and offers this sobering stat as motivation: Three out of every five home fire deaths happen in homes where smoke detectors are broken or missing*.
FACT: Lint plus electricity equals a serious fire hazard—the U.S. Fire Administration says that the leading cause of home dryer fires is failure to clean them**. So yes, clean the lint trap regularly, as in after every single cycle. A couple times a year, clean out the filter’s chute with a vacuum’s hose attachment or an ultra-long dryer lint brush, available discount home or home improvement stores, too.
Then, once a year, inspect the dryer’s outside vent to make sure it’s clean and clear, and disconnect, inspect and thoroughly clean the dryer’s big vent pipe, or hire a professional to do it for you. It’ll likely cost you between $100 and $200, but that price tag includes peace of mind. Also worth noting: If you notice it’s taking longer for clothes to dry, get your dryer vent cleaned ASAP.
*National Fire Protection Association: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/dryers-and-washing-machines/dryer-safety-tips
**U.S. Fire Administration: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html