How to Extend the Life of Your Appliances
You expect all of your household appliances to just keep chugging along, but eventually, they’ll slow down and need repairs. It’s simply a fact of life: Nothing lasts forever.
Understanding the average lifespan of major appliances, such as your dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine, helps you plan for upgrades and repair expenses.
Most major appliances last at least a decade, but the exact life expectancy can vary, depending on appliance type, quality, how well you take care of them and other factors. Investing in a higher-quality appliance might cause it to last longer.
On average, you can expect your dishwasher to run properly for about nine years, according to The Spruce. However, it might not last as long if you skip cleaning it. Gunk can build up in the filter, drain and gaskets, making the appliance work less efficiently. Overworking your dishwasher can strain it and shorten its life.
Microwaves typically work for about nine years before they need to be replaced. How often you use the microwave is often a determining factor in how much life you'll get out of it. Microwaves also tend to get dirty with food splatters, which can shorten their lifespan. Putting things in it that you shouldn't, such as metal, can damage the microwave and force you to replace it sooner. Getting the cheap dorm-style microwave might save you on the front end, but you’re probably going to have to toss it a lot sooner than you would a higher-end, built-in model.
Your stove will likely be one of the longest-lasting appliances in your house due to its sturdy design. It also doesn't have to do as many things as other appliances, and there aren't a lot of moving parts that can break or aggressive motions that can throw it out of whack. The fuel type can affect how long your range lasts. Electric ranges typically have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years, while gas ranges tend to work for 10 to 18 years, with an average of about 15 years for both types. Many times, it's the electronic components that go bad first on a range, not the part that actually cooks your food.
Washing machines typically last for about 11 years. They're on the lower end of the appliance life range due to all the work they do. Washing machines spin and agitate clothes, often aggressively. They also get a lot of work in a typical household, since dirty clothes never stop. Another possible issue is soap buildup and damage to certain parts, such as the gaskets and bearings.
You'll likely get a little more life out of your dryer than your washer. Both gas and electric dryers have a similar lifespan of about 13 years. However, many people replace washers and dryers together to have a matching set, so you might end up replacing the dryer sooner if your washing machine stops. Failing to keep the lint trap clean can put more strain on your dryer and affect its life.
Typically, refrigerators work well for about 14 years before they need to be replaced. That's an impressive lifespan considering refrigerators work nonstop, unlike many other appliances that only get used occasionally. Refrigerators last longer when you keep them clean, including the gaskets and coils, and don't overwork them by packing them with food.
If you have a chest freezer for extra food storage, it should have a lifespan of about 10 to 20 years. Like refrigerators, freezers tend to be one of the longer-lasting appliances in your home when you take care of them and don't overload them.
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While appliances have average lifespans, how you use them greatly affects how long they'll last. You can make your appliances last longer by being gentle with them and keeping them clean. Proper maintenance could get you several more years out of your appliances. However, if you don't take care of them, your appliances could have a much shorter lifespan than average.
Here are some ways to make your appliances last longer:
- Read and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Limit load sizes on appliances, such as washing machines, dryers and dishwashers, to avoid adding strain.
- Avoid overloading your refrigerator with food.
- Clean your appliances regularly to prevent buildup, including items such as the lint trap in your dryer.
- Fix minor issues quickly, so they don't get worse.
- Close appliance doors gently to protect the hinges and handles.
- Avoid adding too much soap to appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.
- Maintain gaskets and seals around appliance doors by wiping them and inspecting them for damage.
- Position appliances slightly away from the wall to promote air circulation.
Caring for your appliances can make them last longer and save you money on repairs.
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