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5 filters you should be changing (or cleaning) around your home

Keep your home healthier by changing these filters.

You probably already change out your AC filter on a regular basis, right? Don't just stop there: There are many other filters in your home that you've probably been overlooking. 

While they may seem insignificant, they keep your appliances lasting longer and keep contaminants out of your air, ice and water. Here's a list of common filters and how often they should be replaced.

Vacuum filters

Vacuums typically have several filters. These filters trap dust and other particles so they aren't released into the air.

The pleated filters that look like they're made out of paper should be changed every six months or so. In-between changes, put the paper filter in a plastic bag and shake it around once a month to remove built-up dust.

The filters that look like white or black sponges can be hand-washed in warm water and a little dishwashing liquid every month. Just make sure to let it air dry completely before putting it back in the vacuum.

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Ice maker filter

Ice makers in your fridge and stand-alone ice makers all have activated charcoal filters. They remove impurities from tap water to make your ice safer and taste better.

Like any other filter, it needs to be changed out every now and then. Check your user manual for the best time to make the switch.

Water filter

While you're checking out your ice maker's filter, don't forget the filter for your in-door water dispenser on your fridge. It removes impurities from your local water supply so you get a tasty, safe glass of water.

Check the user manual for its location and change-out schedule. Typically, the water filter will need to be changed every six months.

Lint filter

The lint trap on your dryer is a very important part of the appliance's inner workings. It stops lint from getting inside your dryer's inner workings. Leaving it dirty can cause dryer malfunctions and even fires.

Clean lint off the filter after every use. Then, once a month, give it a good scrub with a toothbrush, warm water and dishwashing liquid to remove any sticky residue from fabric softener.

Stove filters

If you look under your kitchen stove's hood, you'll see a filter that prevents grease from going inside the hood's vent. Once a month, you need to clean the filter so air and smoke can still get through the vent.

To get the filter clean, fill your kitchen sink with boiling water, a quarter-cup of baking soda and a couple drops of dish soap. Mix the water with a spoon then drop the filter in, carefully.

Let the filter soak for 30 minutes. Then, using a pair of kitchen tongs, remove the filter from the hot water and scrub it down with a scrub brush or old toothbrush.

Finish up by rinsing the filter with hot water. Let it air-dry before putting it back in the stove hood.