Ive been told by several sources that using XML sitemaps in my sites is a good practice. I have read articles and understand the function of a sitemap.

I have 3 questions, though.

#1 should i include a link to the sitemap in my index page?
example:
Code:
<link href="sitemap.xml" />
#2 will including a link as described above work instead of submitting the sitemap to google webmaster tools?

#3 the sitemap generator im using (xml-sitemaps.com) is generating two links to the home page. why is this? and will it affect my SEO at all (one seo consultant i know says having two is a bad thing).
example:
Code:
<url>
  <loc>http://website.com/</loc>
</url>
<url>
  <loc>http://website.com/index.html</loc>
</url>