Here are 5 things you should know.
1. Water heaters have an anode rod that prevents the tank from corroding. If you replace it every few years, it will extend the life of your water heater from ~10 years to potentially 25+ years.
Water heaters use an anode rod to attract and remove sediments from the water being heated. An anode rod will corrode and deteriorate over time until it’s no longer capable of functioning and has to be replaced. This part literally sacrifices itself to keep the tank in optimal condition. That’s why it’s also referred to as a sacrificial anode. Without it, the water tank would start corroding from the inside out which would eventually result in a severe leak at the bottom.
After the anode rod deteriorates, the tank will begin corroding. This is the reason water heaters typically only last 5-15 years. If you replace the rod every few years (cheap and easy), it will extend the life of the water heater by decades.
2. For over 50% of the United States population, the combination of someone’s 5-digit zip code, gender, and date of birth is unique to only one person. Be careful with the information you share online– it’s more identifiable than you think.
We often underestimate how much information we’re really sharing online. It might not feel like we’re identifying ourselves by sharing a few generic pieces of information about ourselves. But given just how easily identifiable we become after sharing just a few pieces of information, it might be worth reconsidering what you share (or are truthful about) online.
3. If you make less than $72,000 a year adjusted gross income (AGI) you can file taxes completely free with the IRS Free File program.
(US Only) The program is a partnership between the IRS and popular tax filing softwares like TurboTax, TaxSlayer, TaxAct, etc… that allows you to file your entire return for free if you make less than the $72,000 AGI cutoff.
Here’s the link to IRS Free File
If you’re unsure of what steps to take, here is a guide walking you through the free file program.
4. Your above-range microwave likely contains a charcoal air filter at the top where the fan blows out recirculating air when the fan is on. Replacing this inexpensive filter can remove cooking odors from your kitchen.
The purpose of the charcoal air filter is to remove odors from the air as you cook. Most people know about the metallic grease filters on the bottom where the air gets sucked in, but not the charcoal filter inside the top-front panel where the air gets blown out.
If you live in an apartment, your charcoal filter has likely never been changed and your cooking odors could be reduced.
Here’s a video on changing a recent model GE filter, but Google your model number for specific instructions.
These filters are only important in recirculating air situations… if your microwave fan vents outside, you don’t need to worry about the charcoal filter.
5. The importance of dietary fiber. It can help prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of having a high-fiber diet include:
Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to the stool.
Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet likely lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Some fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing diseases of the colon.
Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed, and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
Helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Aids in achieving a healthy weight. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you’re likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less “energy-dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
Helps you live longer. Studies suggest that increasing your dietary fiber intake — especially cereal fiber — is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.