When To Replace Appliances

You’ve likely heard the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”. While this sentiment may be true much of the time, there is a specific instance in which you will benefit by fixing (well, replacing) things before they break. 

When it comes to the appliances in your home, waiting to upgrade until they stop working will cost you more in the long run. Drafty windows, an outdated refrigerator, a damaged water heater, or leaky faucets are just a few examples of where you may be losing money due to inefficiency. 

Make sure the appliances in your home aren’t draining your bank account by replacing them at the end of their average lifecycle. Follow this guide to determine how long the appliances in your home should last and when it’s time for them to be upgraded.

The Life Expectancy of Appliances

The lifespan of an appliance depends on several factors: How often it’s used, what type of appliance it is, and its quality. As a general rule, a 10-year lifespan for most appliances is satisfactory. Here is a more detailed breakdown of how long you can expect your appliances to last:

Oven Ranges: 11-15 years.

When evaluating the lifespan of your current oven range, be sure to keep in mind whether it’s electric or gas. Electric ovens typically have a shorter lifespan as they use heating elements that are more prone to wear. Gas ranges use an ignition switch which tends to last longer. On average, gas ranges last closer to 15 years.

Refrigerators: 11-19 years.

The design of the refrigerator greatly impacts its life expectancy. Most modern models feature larger freezers, which requires they work much harder at cooling and shortens their lifespan. One of the most popular models, the side by side refrigerator and freezer, has one of the shortest life spans, around 13 years on average. A refrigerator with only one door has the longest life expectancy, closer to 19 years.

Washer & Dryer: 10-13 years.

Like refrigerators, the life expectancy of washers and dryers depends on the type of machine you own. While front-loading washers have become the more popular model, they tend to last closer to 10 years, while top-loading washers last about 13. Dryers typically give out before washers as they contain heating components that become fragile with age. However, many homeowners decide to replace both the washer and dryer when one breaks.

Water Heaters: 10-25 years.

The lifespan of a water heater also depends on the model. When it comes to determining when to replace your water heater, keep in mind what type of water heater you own and what type of water you have. Tankless water heaters are the most efficient as they only heat water that is being used. This model can last up to 25 years. Traditional water heaters, both gas, and electric, tend to last closer to 10 years. These estimations may also be affected by the type of water in your area. Hard water and well water often cause build-up of minerals and sediments that can cause clogs and other issues, which ultimately lower the lifespan further.

Another important thing to know about water heaters is that they are prone to use energy less efficiently as they age. Many homeowners choose to replace their water heaters before they fail in order to save money on their utility bills. If you suspect that your water heater might be costing you extra money each month, keep an eye out for the following tell-tale signs that it’s time for a new one:

          It’s making loud noises. When a surplus of minerals and/or sediment build up in the water heater, they can be put into motion when they are heated. The movement of this debris has the potential to create structural damage. If you hear loud banging noises coming from your water heater, it’s possible that the heating elements are misfiring and causing expansion within your water heater. This will also lead to damage and inefficiency.

          The temperatures fluctuate. If you find it difficult to keep your water at a consistent temperature, it may be time to replace your water heater. This issue might be due to your water heater being too small for your needs or an inefficient/broken heating element.

          It’s old. Even if your water heater isn’t making strange noises and seems to be performing well, it’s still important to keep track of its age. Traditional gas and electric water heaters that are reaching the end of their 10-15 year life expectancy are less energy efficient and cost more in utilities on a monthly basis.

To ensure your home is performing efficiently and maintaining low monthly costs, be sure to keep your appliances updated and in prime shape. Along with performing regular maintenance on your heavily used appliances, be realistic about how long each unit should last and when it is time for them to be replaced.

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