Newer appliances, while they may have longer life spans than older appliances, have their problems too. With older appliances, the parts that break down may not be made anymore or it may make more sense to replace than to repair. With newer appliances, though, natural wear and tear can occur as well as being more expensive to repair, not to mention the cost/availability of their parts!

Here is the average life expectancy of common household appliances:

Air conditioners: 8–15 years
Refrigerators: 7–13 years
Stoves and gas ranges: 8–15 years
Washing machines and dryers: 5–15 years

Dishwashers: 9–15 years
Water heaters: 8–15 years
HVAC systems: 10–30 years (if you run it all the time or near corrosives or in a dark/dank place, it will not last the full 30 years)

To chuck or not to chuck? 

Some appliances are dangerous when they get too old. Other than checking the warranty, there are a few other things you can look for when wondering if you should chuck your appliance:

  • For a fridge - replace if it is old, keeps breaking down, or is past it’s warranty and at least 7 years old.
  • For stoves - while gas last longer than electric, fix them right away if they are broken to avoid shock and fire hazard.
  • For washers and dryers - they should be replaced if they are older than 8 years and shaking, rattling, noisy, leaking, overflowing, or not cleaning your clothes as well.

If your appliance repair cost half or more of the cost of a new appliance, just get a new one. Warranties last anywhere from months to years so make sure to hold onto yours and check it before tossing your wrecked appliance.

Water Heater 101:

Draining and Cleaning: The bottom of the tank can have rust, sediment, calcium deposits, and bacteria so to get rid of this or minimize it, drain a quarter of the tank a few times a year as well as flushing the system out completely every six months or so by attaching a hose to the drain valve and running until the water coming out is clear.

Replacement: Old age or a leak are major signs to replace the water heater, but little issues can be replaced for relatively cheap so if you can define that the water heater isn’t leaking or old, get a repair person out there. To tell the age, if the water heater is in the double digits it is probably too old.