Our Best Advice for the Most Frequently Asked Questions of 2022
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Homeowners face a variety of common conundrums, and they know just where to go for the best advice. From appliances on the fritz to unfamiliar insect invasions to concerning sights, sounds, and smells, Bob Vila has been helping folks solve problems around the house for decades.
While trends and technology change (e.g. homeowners didn’t buy flat screen TVs several years ago, let alone wonder how high to mount them on walls), BobVila.com remains a trustworthy source of up-to-date information. If you weren’t one of the many people to type the following questions into a search bar this year, chances are you will eventually—and we’ll be right there with the answers you need.
Q: Why is the dishwasher not draining?
A: Dishwashers are one of the most frequently used appliances in our homes, so it’s no surprise that folks are quick to search for a solution when they stop working. Sometimes the fix is as simple as restarting the cleaning cycle when a dishwasher won’t drain, or ensuring that the door is closed properly when a dishwasher is not getting water. Most often, however, it takes a bit more troubleshooting to get to the root of the problem.
Q: What are the tiny black bugs infesting my windows?
A: The truth is, it depends, but you can narrow down the possibilities of which tiny black bugs (or tiny red bugs, for that matter) are causing this common problem by taking a closer look at the insects as well as the damage they cause. From carpenter ants to drain flies to clover mites, our handy guide will help you get rid of tiny black bugs near windows.
Q: Should I paint my kitchen cabinets?
A: The answer to this frequently asked question comes down to several factors: the material your cabinets are made of, the existing finish, the condition they’re in, and the amount of work and time required to do it yourself. Our thorough guide will help you determine whether you should paint your kitchen cabinets yourself, or hire a pro.
Q: Why is the toilet gurgling?
A: Negative air pressure in the drain line causes toilet gurgles. The culprit of this abnormal suction is a clog, and the cure is clearing it. Seems easy enough, right? It gets more difficult, though, depending on where the clog is, so it’s important to nail that down first.
Q: What’s making my washing machine smell?
A: The buildup of dirt, body oil, soap residue, and more can cause unpleasant washing machine smells. Sanitizing the appliance monthly will help to banish odors as well as prolong the life of the appliance.
Q: How high should I mount a TV on the wall?
A: Experts agree that it’s best to mount a TV so that the center of the screen is at the average eye level of household members when sitting. Learn what other factors to consider in our detailed guide about how high to mount a TV in any room.
Q: Why won’t my GFCI outlet reset?
A: Like many home repairs, understanding the cause of the issue is the first step in finding a solution. When a GFCI outlet won’t reset, performing a few simple tests could reveal a blown fuse or a more serious problem like faulty electrical wiring.
Q: What does a green porch light mean?
A: If you spot a few green porch lights in your neighborhood, chances are the homeowners are showing support for U.S. military veterans. Not surprisingly, the subtle symbol appears more frequently around Veterans Day each November.
Q: How can I remove smoke smells in my house?
A: Baking soda, vinegar, and charcoal are just a few of the DIY remedies you can use for smoke smell removal. Steam, air purifiers, and new HVAC filters can help as well, but there comes a time when professional smoke remediation is needed.
Q: What should I do if my Amazon package is stolen?
A: An unfortunate side effect of the increase in online shopping is the emergence of porch pirates. One big question on the minds of at-home shoppers is what to do if their package is stolen. After doing a little investigative work to determine whether the package was in fact delivered to your door, the next course of action is to contact the seller for a possible replacement or refund.
Q: Does my home have the ideal humidity level?
A: No matter the season, indoor humidity is a common concern among homeowners. Too much or too little can not only cause discomfort for residents, it can also lead to problems throughout the house. Our best advice is to maintain an indoor humidity level between 30 and 50 percent.
Q: Why won’t my lawn mower start?
A: Time is of the essence when your lawn mower won’t start, as the grass will keep growing whether you like it or not. But before you splurge on a new machine, we recommend checking for clogged filters, a spent spark plug, and a few other possible problems that are easy to fix.