New homeowners typically forget to budget for the average of $9,000 in hidden expenses they’ll run into in the first months and years of home ownership, and appliances are a substantial part of that expense. Here’s a breakdown of how long your home appliances should last, and how you can lengthen their lifespans to save money in the long run.
Oven Range: 13-15 YearsWhether you have a gas, electric, or induction range, they tend to have similar lifespans. The best way to extend the life of your range is with regular cleaning.
Dishwasher: 9-13 YearsThe best advice for maintaining your dishwasher? Run it regularly. If you don’t, the rubber gaskets and seals that keep water where it’s supposed to be can dry out and fail. You should also clean out the filter regularly to avoid buildup.
Refrigerator: 9-13 YearsDepending on the style you have, refrigerators can have very different lifespans. Typical side-by-side fridge/freezer combos normally last 10 years, while top/bottom fridges usually function for longer. You can help your fridge last longer by keeping the doors closed as much as possible, and keeping the temperature off the “coldest” setting.
Microwave: 9-10 YearsWith few moving parts and even fewer serviceable ones, your microwave oven is one of the most durable appliances in your kitchen. That being said, there’s not a lot you can do to make yours last longer, besides keeping it clean and taking it easy on the door hinge.
Garbage Disposal: 10-12 YearsWhen it comes to garbage disposals, the most important thing to remember is what not to put down it. This includes foods like rice, egg shells, fibrous vegetables or grease, which can clog the disposal and dull its blades.
Washing Machine/Dryer: 10 to 14 YearsFor washing machines and dryers, lifespan is determined by which style you have. Top-loading washing machines tend to last a little longer than front-loading ones—the reason for this is up for some debate, but it may come down to the fact that front-loading washing machines are generally more technologically advanced.
Furnace: 15-25 YearsA gas furnace will normally outlast an electric one by about three years, and the reasons are twofold. First, gas is a more efficient fuel source than electricity, so the system doesn’t have to work as hard to provide the same amount of heat. Second, gas furnaces are usually less complex, with fewer parts that can wear and break.
AC Unit: 7-15 YearsIn order to work with optimal efficiency, your air conditioning unit needs regular care and maintenance, starting with making sure the coils and foil fins are clean and straight. You’ll also want to call in a professional once a year to check the system’s refrigerant levels.
Water Heater: 6-20 YearsTankless water heaters can easily last for two decades or longer, while more common tank models generally fall in the lifespan range of 6 to 12 years. Hard water, excess mineral buildup, and scaling can shorten the life of this appliance, while those on a well water system should also look out for sediment deposits.