blogYou wouldn’t drink expired milk or eat foul smelling poultry, would you? Of course not – you trust expiration dates and your senses to steer you away from unpleasant (and potentially dangerous) experiences. But expiration dates aren’t just for food. Here are some common household items that many homeowners use long past their use-by dated.

Child Car Seats – They’re designed to keep your littlest family members safe in a vehicle, but did you know that over time, the plastic and foam used in a car seat deteriorates, putting children at risk in the event of car accident? Look for the expiration date on the bottom or back of your car seat so that you can be sure your child is safe and secure.

Fire Extinguishers – The worst time to find out that your fire extinguisher has gone bad is when you actually need it. Check the gauge on yours once a month, have it serviced annually, and replace it every 5 to 10 years.

Sunscreen – Sunscreen is good for only a season. So if you can’t remember when you actually bought that bottle sitting inside your medicine chest, chances are you should just toss it and buy a new one. It’s not worth the sunburn.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Keeping your family safe from fire or potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide levels doesn’t stop at changing batteries every 6 months. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing the actual detectors after about 10 years.

Helmets – Just as with car seats, the plastic and foam inside a helmet breaks down over time. Just to play it safe, you should replace bike helmets every 3 to 5 years, or after a serious accident.

Power Strips – A leading cause of household electrical fires, power strips should be replaced after about 7 years or as soon as you see signs of damage.
HVAC Filters – To help keep your air clean and your heating and cooling systems running at max efficiency, you should replace their filters every other month in season. Either jot down the model number or just take the old one with you to the home improvement store so you know exactly which one to get.

At the same time, it takes more than regular filter cleaning or replacement to heat and cool your home as efficiently and effectively as you can.  It also takes annual whole-system cleanings and inspections.  Has it been a year or longer since you last had preventative maintenance performed? If so, contact Burton today, and start enjoying greater indoor comfort tomorrow.