Next Up

When to Change Things Around the House

Everything has an expiration date, but do you know how often you need to be replacing common household items? 

1 / 9

Air Filters

When the air in your house is being circulated through an air conditioner, it pays to clean out the filter regularly. If it’s been a while, brace yourself, these hardworking filters can accumulate quite a coating of dust, pollen and debris. For HVAC units, change the filter every three months. Two months if you have pets. And every 30 days if you have allergies. For window units, shake out dust and wash the filter. Allow the filter to dry completely before placing back in the air conditioner so it doesn't mold.

More photos after this Ad

2 / 9


It's gross to think about but you share your pillow with dust, dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and dust mites. Pillows should replaced every three years or as often as every six months for allergy sufferers. Pillows should be washed every three months. Down alternative pillows can go into the washing machine, while down feather pillows need to be dry cleaned. Looking to extend the life of your pillow? Buy a zippered cover and wash every three weeks.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 9

Batteries in Safety Equipment

If you’re waiting for the smoke/carbon monoxide detector to beep before you change the batteries, you may be putting yourself and your family at risk. Set an alarm on your phone, put it on the family calendar, or pick a holiday as the yearly reminder to change those critically important batteries.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 9


Who knew your favorite mascara had such a short shelf life? Only three months. The same goes for liquid or gel eyeliners, too. As for the life of other cosmetics, you’ll get a year out of lipsticks, lip liners, concealers, oil-free foundations, cream shadows and cream blushes. Sturdier makeup like pencil eyeliner, lip gloss, and powders (blushes, bronzers and shadows) will last two years. Once an item has hit its lifetime max, ditch them so you don’t end up with icky (and infection causing) germs on your face.

More photos after this Ad