Here’s How Long Your Most Important Appliances Should Last
Double-check those warranties, people.
Where would you be without your dishwasher? Could you make it a week without a washing machine? And if your fridge gave out, how long would it take for you to start eating ramen straight out of the package?
For many people, their major appliances are such an integral part of daily life that it seems impossible to live without them. That said, even the trustiest pieces of machinery can’t last forever. So, how long should you expect your most-used machines to stick around? Read on to find out.
Washing machines: 10 to 20 years
According to Consumer Reports, you can expect to get a decade of use out of your typical washing machine. However, your washing machine’s longevity depends on the type you choose: Todd DePole, owner of Todd’s Appliance Repair in New York, says a top-loading washer could easily last two decades.
Water heaters: 10 to 20 years
Luckily, replacing your water heater won’t be a task you have to undertake too often. According to CNN, electric or gas water heaters typically last around 10 years, while their tankless counterparts are good for up to 20.
Refrigerators: 9 to 13 years
You probably don’t have to worry about replacing that new fridge any time soon. Compact fridges generally stay in working order for 9 years, while their full-sized counterparts are good for up to 13.
Clothing dryers: 10 to 15 years
You’re likely to get about 13 years of use out of your average dryer. However, buying a pricier product doesn’t always mean you’ll get more use out of it. “My rule of thumb with customers when it comes to dryers? I tell them to buy the cheapest dryer they can get ahold of. A dryer is a dryer is a dryer,” says DePole. “The other stuff—the bells, the whistles—are just things that are going to break too soon.”
Stoves: 13 to 15 years
Your average stove has a pretty decent lifespan on it. Electric ranges generally last about 13 years, while gas ones are good for about 15.
Air conditioners: 10 to 15 years
Your window unit may only last you a decade, but the central air system in your home should last you approximately 15 years.
Microwaves: 9 years
They may be one of the less-expensive appliances, but that doesn’t mean your microwave will necessarily have a short lifespan. Most microwaves will continue working for the better part of a decade.
Dishwashers: 9 years
You can expect your dishwasher to keep those plates and silverware clean for approximately nine years. Just make sure you’re cleaning its filters and seals on a regular basis.
Vacuums: 8 years
According to Consumer Reports, vacuums last a median of eight years, but you may be able to prolong their lifetime by cleaning their filters frequently and replacing their belts when needed.
Toasters: 5 years
Daily use takes its toll on your toaster, and these countertop cookers tend to only last about 5 years, on average.
Thermostats: up to 35 years
Thermostats can typically be used safely for up to 35 years, though improvements in technology—like the advent of smart thermostats—might have you eager to upgrade sooner.
Hot tub: up to 25 years
While that cauldron of human soup certainly needs a good cleaning on a regular basis, with routine maintenance, your hot tub could easily last up to 25 years.
Boilers: 13 to 21 years
That boiler in your basement could last you a few decades. While electric boilers tend to need more frequent replacement, gas boilers regularly last up to 21 years.
Garbage disposals: 12 years
You can keep scraping those plates right into the sink for over a decade, with the average garbage disposal staying operational for 12 years.
Freezers: 11 years
Your freezer should serve you well for over a decade—just make sure that you clean its condenser coils regularly if the manual calls for it.
Humidifiers: 8 years
With regular cleaning (including frequent descaling), your humidifier can likely last up to 8 years.
Furnaces: 15 to 20 years
Depending on which kind you have, you can get between one and two decades of use out of your furnace, on average, with electric warm air furnaces typically retaining functionality for 15 years, gas warm air furnaces lasting for 18, and oil warm air ones lasting for 20 .
That’s not to say you can mistreat your appliances and expect them to maintain their original level of functionality, however. “Appliances last the longest when the consumer follows the manufacturer’s suggested use and care of the product,” says appliance specialist Anthony Starck, owner of Long Island-based Showcase Kitchens. However, many people routinely neglect the more detailed aspects of the maintenance process.
A good rule of thumb? “I always suggest putting a reminder in their phone and follow the daylight savings schedule,” says Starck. “When it’s daylight savings, it’s time to vacuum out that compressor.” And for more secrets about everyday items, don’t miss these 27 Amazing Facts About Household Objects.
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