While it’s fairly evident when you should replace household items like your toothbrush or your kitchen sponge, the replacement times for other items in your home may not be as clear.
How long more expensive household items will last depend on factors such as how well-suited each item is for the way you use it and how well you maintain the item. For example, if you use a basic, economy-priced vacuum to routinely vacuum up tons of pet hair and debris, you will likely find that the filter will become more easily clogged and so will the brush roll. And if you fail to clean or replace the filter and unclog the brush roll, you’ll soon be left with a vacuum that can’t do its job.
But those rules don’t only apply to vacuums. Many of the items around your home require regular cleaning and maintenance for optimal life. And if you slack in those areas, you can expect the items to wear out much more quickly as a result.
“HVAC air filters are an item homeowners often forget to replace or wait too long to do it,” said Andrew Latham, certified personal finance counselor and the managing editor of SuperMoney. “I always remind new homeowners to replace their air filters at least every three months. Air filters only cost between $20 and $40 each, depending on brand and quality. However, not replacing air filters often enough will increase your energy bills and could cause your entire HVAC system to get clogged and break. Replacing an HVAC unit will cost you between $4,000 and $12,000.
“Air filters need to be replaced at least every three months, but households with pets or people with allergies should probably change them every other month. Buying in bulk makes sense when it comes to air filters since you will need air filters for as long as you own your home. You can save up to 40% on many brands if you buy packs of six or 12 filters.”
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“It must be your top priority to keep your household safe, thus regular replacement of items is needed,” said Lynda Le, founder of Polish Perfect. “First on the list is the water filter — whether that’s a pitcher with a water filter or the ones connected to your fridge. The frequency of changing water filters depends on the kind that you have. Check the manual for accuracy.
“Changing the water filter is necessary as it can develop mold on the bottom over time,” Le said. “Water filters cost between $30 to $60 for a faucet water filtration system and $16 to $30 for a water filter pitcher.”
“Another household item that needs regular checking for replacement is dishwashers,” Le said. “They can actually last from about eight to 10 years, but when it stops functioning as it should, that’s when it must be replaced with a new one. The major sign it needs replacing is when the dishes don’t come out hot right after the finished cycle. A dishwasher that doesn’t get hot enough means lingering bacteria.” The average cost for a dishwasher is $400-$700.
“Since safety is a priority in the household, it is highly recommended that you have a fire extinguisher,” said Le. “The needle must be checked monthly to make sure it is in the green range on the gauge. This means that it can properly work in case of fire. A multi-use fire extinguisher ranges from $35 to $75 per unit.”
Your mattress is another household item that needs to be replaced regularly — about every seven to 10 years, according to Christina Heiser, senior content manager at Saatva, a luxury mattress and bedding company.
“An old mattress doesn’t offer the comfort and support needed to get a good night’s sleep,” Heiser said. “And as we all know, sleep is essential for your health and well-being. If you can’t get comfortable in bed, or you start waking up with back pain, those are good signs it’s time to replace your mattress. And if back pain isn’t reason enough, old mattresses are full of dirt and germs that can make your allergies worse. We shed millions of skin cells every day, which dust mites then feed on. Think about how many dead skin cells and dust mites are in a mattress that’s 10-plus years old. When you do replace your mattress, make sure to cover it in a mattress protector to prevent germs from getting in.”
Heiser advises that it’s between $1,500-$3,000 for a high-quality mattress. “Buy a mattress online versus shopping in-store,” she said. “According to the National Sleep Foundation, you can expect to spend around 15% less online for a mattress than you would in a retail store. Shopping over a holiday weekend, such as Presidents Day, Memorial Day or Black Friday, can also typically save you around 10%-20% on a mattress.”
Carpet lasts an average of five to 15 years before it needs to be replaced. However, if you regularly vacuum the carpeting and have it deep cleaned every six months it should last longer. Regular vacuuming and cleaning are a must. Otherwise, soil that’s left in the carpet will embed itself in the fibers and make it difficult to remove. Plus, carpet traps all types of allergens, including pet dander, pollens and dust, which can become airborne and cause respiratory illnesses or exacerbate asthma. Carpeting in high-traffic areas, such as in a living room or family room, will likely need replacing before carpeting in bedrooms. On average, carpets cost $2-$4 per square foot.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced every five to seven years. If your CO detector is a more recent model, you can look on the back to find a build date or expiration date. If there is no date, it’s most likely time to replace it. You can buy carbon monoxide detectors for as little as $15, but for models with a digital display, you’ll pay about $40.
You can expect your washing machine to last around 12 years. However, you could have expensive repairs as early as eight or nine years. When deciding whether to repair or replace, you’ll likely want to repair it if it’s much younger than 11 years and the repair price is less than half the cost of a brand new machine. However, if your washing machine has needed several repairs, is more than six years old and the cost of the most recent repair would exceed 50% of the cost of a new machine, you may want to replace it. You can replace a medium-size washing machine for around $500.
You can expect an electric clothes dryer to last about 14 years and a gas model to last about 13 years. When deciding to repair or replace your clothes dryer, go by the same rules for washing machines. You can buy a 6.2-cubic foot electric or gas dryer for about $600.
Tank water heaters should last six to 12 years with regular maintenance, while tankless water heaters can last more than 20 years. Repair is an option if the unit is less than 10 years old or a part fails that can be replaced. You should consider replacing the unit if it’s more than 10 years old, has not had regular maintenance and it shows signs of leaking, knocking or cloudy, rusty or cold water. You can purchase a new tank water heater for $300-$2,000 or a tankless water heater for $1,000-$3,000.
If you have the user’s guide for the showerhead in your home, refer to it for recommended replacement times for the filters. However, a good rule of thumb is to replace the filters every six months. Replacing a showerhead filter is important to remove contaminants from the water you shower with, such as chlorine, lead, scale, bacteria, fluoride, sulfur odor and some water-soluble heavy metals. You can purchase showerhead filters for around $15 and up.
How often your home’s roof will need to be replaced depends on the type of roof. In general composition shingles will last 12-20 years, asphalt shingles will last 15-30 years and metal roofs will last 50-75 years. Severe weather conditions, such as extreme cold or humidity can cause a roof to wear more quickly.
Check your roof twice a year for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, rot, sagging, signs of water damage or dark spots. Additionally, anytime your home sustains severe weather or high winds, you’ll need to check for damage. The cost to replace a roof averages between $5,500-$11,000. An easy way to budget for a substantial cost like a roof replacement is to choose a certain percentage of your paycheck to build your savings and then set up automatic transfers for that amount each time you get paid.
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