Wondering about appliance life spans? Whether you’re moving into a new home, building one, or just planning and budgeting for expensive in-home purchases like these, it helps to be informed about what you can expect in terms of the life span of appliances. Whether you bought an extended warranty or are highly skilled at appliance repair and prefer a DIY approach, it’s good to have a general idea of what you’re getting into. So, how long do appliances last?
Typical appliance life span
Surveys indicate that most consumers expect about 10 years of reliable service out of their new appliances, regardless of brand, model or even the type of appliance they’re considering. While some manufacturers claim up to 25 years of performance, few guarantee trouble-free service for the entire life span of appliances. In fact, for most major appliances like those we profile below, it’s common for problems to arise in the first five years of use. Still, many appliances are well built and will last long beyond the manufacturer’s predictions. For more financial security, read about whether a home warranty covers appliances.
Basic standard of care
We all want to get the most out of an investment as significant as a major home appliance. You should take care of your appliances with regular cleaning and regular maintenance as specifically recommended by the manufacturer and described in the manual. That way, you’re doing what you can to ensure you get the most out of your appliance investments. Our numbers below assume that you’re doing both rather than neglecting either.
How long do Frigidaire refrigerators last? A Frigidaire is among many solid, trustworthy brands and should last at least a decade. As the centerpiece of your kitchen, everything revolves around the fridge. According to Consumer Reports, approximately 40% of all new refrigerators will experience problems within the first five years of ownership. Although this percentage drops to around 25% among best-rated brands, it increases to around 60% for brands rated the worst. These days, most refrigerators are expected to last between nine and 13 years. If you have an older fridge that seems to be working well, you may want to consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model, which could save you money in operating expenses. Check out our post on whether it’s worth repairing a 10-year-old refrigerator.
Few modern homeowners elect to forgo a dishwasher. According to Consumer Reports, approximately 30% of all new dishwashers will experience problems within the first five years of ownership. Although this percentage drops to around 20% among best-rated brands, it increases to around 50% for brands rated the worst. If well maintained, dishwashers could last a decade, but newer models use a lot less water and electricity.
How long do stoves last? Though there are people who cook only with microwaves, it’s not a choice we’d recommend if you really enjoy food. If you want to cook anything properly, you will need a stove/range with an oven. According to Consumer Reports, about 25% of new ranges will experience problems within the first five years of ownership. Although this percentage drops to around 15% among best-rated brands, it increases to around 40% for brands rated the worst. You can expect a range to last about 15 years, though a gas range might last a couple of years longer than an electric model. The hood installed above the range has a similar life span, so there’s a high likelihood you’ll replace both at the same time.
Microwaves (over-the-range models)
Though some households skip the microwave, plenty rely on them, especially those that serve leftovers. According to Consumer Reports, approximately 25% of all new over-the-range (OTR) microwaves will experience problems within the first five years of ownership. Although this percentage drops to around 15% among best-rated brands, it increases to around 35% for brands rated the worst. You can expect a microwave to last about nine years. Of course, there are exceptions on either side of that number.
Those who are fortunate enough to have a washing machine in our homes consider it an essential part of our regular routines. According to Consumer Reports, approximately 30% of all washing machines will experience problems within the first five years of ownership. Although this percentage drops to around 10% among best-rated brands, it increases to around 50% for brands rated the worst. Most washing machines can remain in service for about a decade of regular, vigorous use.
A clothes dryer is to the washing machine what peanut butter is to jelly. One without the other is a bummer. According to Consumer Reports, approximately 20% of all clothes dryers will experience problems within the first five years of ownership. Although this percentage drops to around 10% among best-rated brands, it increases to around 30% for brands rated the worst. The appliance life expectancy for dryers is typically about 13 years.
Garbage disposals and trash compactors
Garbage disposals have a rough life. People are always cramming nasty junk in there and grinding it up. It’s always wet and crowded, sometimes pretty gross, and even smoky. Still, these marvels of modern technology punch well above their weight, averaging around 12 years of service before requiring replacement.
If you have the room and the money for a stand-alone freezer, you’re probably well stocked for the next pandemic lockdown, and we’re all jealous. Stocking up on your favorites is a lot easier with a separate freezer, and you can expect yours to last up to 20 years!
Modern furnaces last between 13 and 20 years, depending on your make, model and fuel source. Within that range, their longevity, listed from lengthiest life span to shortest, includes furnaces running on oil, gas or electricity.
Your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system works overtime, all day and night, to keep your home at optimal temperatures. It has a wide range of component parts, some of which last longer than others. Most units last somewhere between 15 and 25 years, depending on how hard you push them and how well they’re maintained, but you should be able to count on at least a decade of reliable service.
Your tank-based electric or gas water heater will typically last between nine and 11 years. The newer, more efficient, hot-on-demand tankless models can run for two decades or even longer. They cost more upfront, but they save you money over time because they last longer and use less water and energy than their standard-tank counterparts.
Thanks for joining us for our post on appliance life expectancy. If you’d like to read more about related topics, including what a protection plan from Cinch can do for you, stick around and browse our blog. It’s packed with helpful DIY maintenance and home improvement ideas.
The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.