Caring for a home is more than just cleaning and fixing things – we have to know when it's time to replace an item as well. These are household items you'll find in pretty much every home, and because some of them can last years, even decades in some cases, it's easy to completely forget about replacing them.
Well, set your calendars! Use this list to check if your everything is still good, and set dates for when it's time to replace them!
“If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. – Milton Berle
1. Smoke detectors
Smoke detectors can last up to 10 years, but there's a catch – you still have to replace the batteries annually to make sure they're working. The same goes for carbon monoxide detectors, although these are said to last up to 7 years. Check the detectors every 3-6 months to see if they’re working normally.
Refrigerators can last up to 15 years, being to this day one of the most long-lasting appliances you can purchase. However, the older the refrigerator, the less energy-efficient it will be. If your refrigerator is already 10 years old, you might want to consider purchasing a newer model that will be much more energy-efficient.
Do watch out for the water filters in your refrigerator – they should be replaced every six months!
Dishwashers need regular maintenance like cleaning the inside of the device, the door, and other small parts that might accumulate debris over time. With that maintenance in mind, your dishwater can last up to 10 years.
However, this will depend heavily on the quality of the item and its parts. In some cases, you might consider replacing it a couple years sooner for a newer more energy-efficient model.
4. Washing Machine
Washing machines last 10 to 12 years if properly maintained. The thing is, washing machines do a lot of heavy labor over the years, so it's not uncommon for them to need maintenance and even new parts over time. Washing machines are built to last though, so lasting at least years is a pretty good expectancy.
5. Water Heater
Water heaters have probably the most lenient life expectancy of all the items on this list: they can last from 8 to 12 years. Basically, up until year 8 you should be fine, but from there on out, continue to drain it twice a year and maintain it properly, watching for signs it needs to be replaced. The more you care for it, the closer you'll get to that 12 year mark.
Assuming we're talking about a good quality carpet under good living conditions, they can last up to 10 years. The kind of things that can whittle down those years are damage caused mostly by pets, but also heavy furniture creating permanent indentations.
Windows are known for lasting, since they usually have to endure outdoor conditions as well as indoors. Vinyl windows can last up to 25 years – maybe even longer assuming they're of good quality and are being taken care of. Wooden windows can go just as far, but wood is more susceptible to replacement after some time because the frame can rot or get damaged.
8. Air Conditioner
Most air conditioner units last up to 10 years. A lot of maintenance may happen along the way, since air conditioners are usually energy intensive devices. A unit can certainly outlast this 10-year prediction, but because newer models tend to be more energy-efficient, you might want to consider replacing yours every 10 years or so.
Gutters are also made to endure harsh conditions, but due maintenance is underway to keep them working – if you do, aluminum gutters should last as much as 30 years. Vinyl gutters might last less than that for being slightly more brittle.
It's a good idea to inspect your gutters and clean them at least twice a year, or whenever you notice they are leaking, overflowing, or clogged.
Roofs will always need maintenance over the years, but overall, their life span will depend on the material: metal or clay roofs can last up to 50 years, being some of the most durable of the bunch. Wood or shingles last up to 30 years, and composite or asphalt roofs last up to 20 years.
Whatever the type you have, it goes without saying that you should always look for leaks, cracks, or sags and replace the affected area as soon as possible.
Need more help with household appliances and services? Talk to a handyman today and get free quotes in your area!