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(Family Features) There are items in your home that you know to replace on a regular basis, such as a toothbrush, air conditioner filter or water heater. There are also things in your home that you may not replace until they are worn out, when in fact, most household items also have a shelf life that should be adhered to for efficiency, safety and health reasons.
Here are eight household items that could need replaced:
According to “Good Housekeeping,” there are several signs your fridge is going from running to walking. If it no longer cools to below 40 F or is more than 15 years old, it’s time to check out the appliance aisle. You could consider getting it repaired, but first weigh the cost savings of investing in a new one versus paying for potentially recurring repairs. A general rule of thumb: pay for repairs only if the cost is less than half the price of a new refrigerator.
Generally, microwaves last 10-12 years, but it varies based on the amount of use. Some internal issues that often arise include longer than normal time to properly cook food or worn out gaskets inside the door. However, some outward ways to tell it might be time for a new one, include the keypad sticking or it sounding like a lawnmower when warming up food.
While any household appliance can be a hazard, toasters are particularly temperamental as they get older. If a toaster isn’t cleaned regularly, leftover crumbs inside have the potential to catch fire from. Six to eight years is the recommended maximum amount of time you should wait before replacing your toaster.
According to a Mattress Firm and Oklahoma State University study, mattresses more than eight years old contain large amounts of fungus and bacteria, which can increase allergy and asthma symptoms. An old mattress can also contribute to aches and pains in your neck, back and shoulders. While there are some proactive measures you can take, such as using a mattress protector, it is best to replace your mattress every eight years to ensure you’re getting a great night’s sleep. Learn more at MattressFirm.com.
Between makeup, dirt, hair products, dust and sweat, your pillow collects debris – just like your mattress – that can affect your sleep. While proper care of your pillows, including washing every two weeks, can help keep this problem in check, it is best to replace pillows every 18 months to two years.
If your washer is more than 10 years old, it may be close to its last spin cycle. Dryers generally follow the same shelf life. These items are often expensive to fix, plus by upgrading to an energy efficient model, you save money in the long run by reducing your energy bills.
While the EPA suggests replacing your vacuum cleaner every five to eight years, people tend to replace them more frequently. Replace belts, bags and filters as recommended by the manufacturer to extend the life of your machine, but once it won’t start or is no longer sucking up dirt and dust, it’s time for a new one.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing your hard-wired smoke detectors at least once a month and replacing the batteries yearly. A chirping sound is an indicator that it could be time to replace the unit altogether.
To get the most out of your household essentials, make sure you replace them regularly.
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