How long can I expect my appliances to last?

Dated: April 6 2023

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The average life expectancy of appliances can vary depending on when they were purchased and how they’ve been maintained. Lifespans of many newer ones have decreased over the past few years, mostly because of the complexity of many ‘smart’ models, so you should factor in routine maintenance & potential replacement expense when creating a budget for your new home. 

 

RANGES, whether electric or gas, typically last about 13 – 15 years. Replacement typically occurs due to an electrical control unit that wears out or because a style becomes outdated. To extend the life expectancy of your range, regularly clean both the stovetop & grates with a mild soap or detergent, warm water & a sponge. Clean the oven approx. once or twice per year. 

 

REFRIGERATORS should last approx. 10 – 15 years, though freezers will typically last another 5 years past that point. Typical maintenance should include cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser coils & checking door seals regularly, wiping down handles & dispenser controls daily to remove bacteria and providing enough space for proper airflow & to avoid overworking the appliance. 

 

GARBAGE DISPOSALS, because of their intense work grinding food matter into particles small enough to flush down drain pipes, have a relatively short lifespan. Eight years is not unusual, but that can be increased to as many as 12 years with regular maintenance. Watch for unpleasant odors, water leakage or frequent clogging to signal potential issues. Regularly cleaning debris from the bottom of the disposal is helpful (be sure it’s turned off!) and avoiding things like coffee grounds, eggshells, animal bones or any kind of fat, grease or oil in the disposal is another way to extend its life.

 

MICROWAVES should last approx. 6 to 9 years if maintained properly. Wipe down the inside to clear off food spatter, clean the carousel tray in the sink and clean the area underneath the carousel to ensure a smooth rotation. Never run the microwave while empty and use it only for its intended purpose like quick heating tasks, leaving the heavy work for your conventional oven.

 

ELECTRIC & GAS OVENS typically have a 13 – 15 year lifespan respectively. Regular checks and simple maintenance can keep your oven looking & working its best. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning.

 

DISHWASHERS have a life expectancy of about 9 years but can last longer with less usage & proper maintenance. Clean the filter regularly, keep an eye on the bottom to make sure that it’s properly draining, and remove food scraps, plastic bits, bones or anything else that could clog the filter or drain lines. Typically once a dishwasher breaks down, it’s wiser to replace rather than repair. 

 

HVAC SYSTEMS typically average 15 to 20 years before needing replacement. Aside from proper maintenance, cleaning & replacing air filters regularly can help keep your system running smooth as long as possible. Try to avoid overworking your a/c units.

 

WATER HEATERS need annual descaling to prevent sediment buildups, especially if you have hard water. A corrosion control anode rod should be replaced every 3 to 5 years. Electric/gas heaters will last approx.. 10 – 11 years, while a tankless model should last more than 20 years. 

 

WASHERS (10 – 11 yrs) and DRYERS (13 yrs) should be maintained by regularly wiping away dirt & debris, cleaning lint trap after each use and exhaust vent annually, and using right type & amount of detergent.

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Sharon Kress

Licensed since 1987, I have spent the past 30+ years diligently working to make a positive impact on our industry and those I've been fortunate enough to serve. A successful sales career led me into....

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