In all likelihood, your primary residence and your rental property will far outlive the appliances they hold. But when will major appliances need to be replaced? It depends on the manufacturer as well as the usage and maintenance of the appliances themselves. We took a look at the latest data on the lifespans of major household appliances and share some tips on how to prolong them. This information is useful to keep in mind for your long-term budgeting purposes and also if you ever purchase used appliances.
According to the site Mr. Appliance, a standard refrigerator should last between 8 – 14 years, while smaller, compact refrigerators are expected to last from 4 – 8 years.
Steve Ash, an appliance repairman who writes for the Huffington Post, suggests regularly cleaning the refrigerator gasket, which is the rubbery plastic strip that forms the seal between the refrigerator door and body. He also recommends coating the gasket with Vaseline. This will prolong the life of the plastic and help to form a better seal, which will save energy.
In addition, he recommends regularly cleaning the refrigerator coils, so more airflow gets to them. This will help to prevent the appliance from overheating. You can clean the coils by removing the refrigerator’s front kick plate and vacuuming the coils with your vacuum extension or a handheld vacuum.
Dishwashers are expected to last from 9 – 12 years. As with your refrigerator, you want to keep the gasket on your dishwasher free of dirt, buildup, and cracks. Cleaning it with soap and water will help to prolong its lifespan and also keep a tight seal. Steve Ash also recommends being gentle when loading the dishwasher, as the racks can be expensive to replace.
The average lifespan of a garbage disposal is 10 – 13 years. Most of us are familiar with the awful grinding sound of a garbage disposal attempting to grind up an errant piece of stainless steel cutlery! Garbage disposals were obviously not made for that.
The service American Leak Detection recommends using only cold water when using your garbage disposal. In addition, they recommend avoiding pouring oils or grease down your drain, as they’ll solidify when they cool, which can cause clogging. Furthermore, they recommend not putting fibrous vegetables, like celery, or bones down the drain, both of which are hard on the garbage disposal.
Oven and Range
Gas ranges have a slightly longer life expectancy rate at 15 – 23 years than electric ranges, which can be expected to last from 13 – 16 years. Ovens for each have a similar life expectancy.
To prolong the life of your oven and range, be sure to regularly clean up any food debris, especially on the coils. And be careful not to get cleanser into knob holes or control panels.
You can expect your microwave to last from 5 – 8 years. With microwaves, it’s important to follow the standard rules of not using metal, aluminum, or even dishes with silver or gold accents in the microwave, says the site Compact Appliance. In addition, avoid running the microwave when nothing is in it. Furthermore, try to use pre-programmed cooking times, as they’re designed to get the most efficient usage out of the microwave.
Washers and Dryers
Washing machines are expected to last from 8 – 12 years. Electric dryers are expected to last from 11 – 14 and gas dryers from 11 – 13 years.
One of the most important ways to go easy on your washing machine is to not overload it. Washers are designed to let clothes move freely in the unit, says Steve Ash. If the washer is overloaded, it will require more energy to work, which strains the machine’s
motor, transmission, and belts.
You don’t want to overload your clothes dryer either. An overloaded dryer will put a strain on the machine. Typically, a load of clothing should be dried in about 35 minutes. Keeping your drying time close to this time will reduce your energy usage and limit strain on the dryer.
In addition, Ash recommends checking the dryer’s outside vent and making sure it’s free of dust and lint. This will help the dryer function optimally, as well as help to lessen fire hazards.
How to Find the Age of Your Appliance
If you didn’t purchase an appliance yourself, you can still find its age. Look for the serial number tag of the appliance, which is usually located on the door or back, or under a removable panel, like a stove top, says the site Mr. Appliance. Some serial tags will have the date of manufacture on them, or you can type the brand name of the appliance and the serial number into an online search and find it that way.
By taking a little bit of time every few months to maintain your appliances, you can add to their lifespan and your budget. In addition, well-maintained appliances use less energy, which is great for the environment and your wallet.