While you probably replace things in your home on a regular basis (light bulbs, your toothbrush), there are some things that you're definitely not replacing enough. And it's gross. Here are seven things we don't want you to forget about. Add them to your calendar so you can keep a schedule to replace them — it could keep you from having a bigger problem in the long run.
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1. Dryer Vent Hose
A dirty and corroded dryer vent can easily cause a house fire because of the lint built up inside — it's highly flammable. You should replace your dryer vent hose at least one time per year, but also inspect it every six months to make sure that it isn't clogged.
2. Vent Hood Filter
If your stove has a vent hood or microwave oven mounted above it, then the filters should be cleaned once per year. While most people only use their vent hood fans a few times of year, their filters can still get pretty nasty. These vent filter(s) can become corroded with grease, dust, and other debris used in the kitchen and can cause a foul odor.
3. Refrigerator Water Filter
Your refrigerator's water filter is what makes your drinking water and ice clean and fresh tasting. To keep the filter working properly and deter lime and calcium buildup, it should replaced at least once every six months. Some of the newer refrigerator models will even tell you when it is time to replace the filter. Each refrigerator brand and model is different, so consult your owner's manual to determine what kind of filter you will need and where it's located in your fridge.
4. Bed Pillows
Bed pillows can harbor dust, dust mites, dead skin, and body oils. They also lose their shape after prolonged use. While cleaning them every few months can prolong their life span, it's a good idea to replace your old pillows with new pillows once every one to two years. Using pillows longer could lead to allergies, skin breakouts, and poor sleeping habits.
5. Toilet Brushes
Toilet brushes are used to clean your toilet, but after so many uses, they can start to grow and harbor nasty bacteria like mildew and other dangerous germs from urine and fecal matter. You should dispose of your toilet brushes after six months of use and start fresh.
Warning: Toilet brushes should always be kept in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
6. Bath Mats
Because your bath mats are used to absorb water and are generally kept in your bathroom where humidity is high, it's a good idea to replace them at least once every couple of years. While your bath mat may seem dry, they stay wet or damp for a significant amount of time — and can grow mold and mildew. To keep them clean, they should be washed at least once per week. Then replace them when they start to show significant wear or still hold a strange smell even after being washed.
7. HVAC Filter
Your HVAC filter helps to clean dust, dirt, allergens, pet hair, and dander from your home. If the filter gets full or clogged, then your air won't sift through the filter, and that can cause your HVAC system to malfunction. It's a good idea to change a 1- to 2-inch filter every two to three months, and a 4- to 5-inch filter every six and eight months to keep your HVAC working properly.