Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

When to Replace Down-Filled Items

We normally think of down-filled items as coats or vests and comforters. These are definitely popular items, but there are other down-filled items that are not seasonal. Here are some of the most common down-filled items that we use and how to determine the right time to replace them.

Pillows: Expect to replace them every three to five years (sooner if they smell mildewy) because the weight of your head resting on them every night makes them lose support. You can try this test to see if your pillows do indeed need to be replaced. Fold a pillow in half and squeeze out the air, if it doesn't spring back to shape, it's time for a new one.

Comforters: They need to be replaced only if they've lost their loft (fluffiness) and aren't as warm as they used to be. You can prolong their life with a duvet cover, which reduces washings.

Feather Beds: Replace after three to ten years. Moisture causes down to mildew, so a feather bed's longevity depends ont he dampness of your climate and how much you perspire.

Upholstered Cushions: Frequently used sofa cushions probably need to be changed within five years because they have little resilience. You can try artificial down, which holds its shape much better.

Sleeping Bags: Because these aren't items that are used daily, they may not have to be replaced for thirty years or so. If the fluff factor is low, however, it won't be as warm.

Jackets: The warmth will most likely outlast the style because they last for twenty to thirty years. If the filling starts getting clumpy or gets lumpy, it will cause cold spots.

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