- Most household appliances tend to last around a decade, though gas and electric ranges have a slightly longer lifecycle.
- There are basic preventative maintenance tasks you can perform regularly to extend the lifespan of your appliances.
- To avoid the sticker shock that comes with buying a new major appliance, homeowners can protect themselves with a home warranty plan.
We have all heard our parents and grandparents lament, “They just don’t make them like they used to.” And while today’s home appliances do tend to require more frequent replacement, there are ways to extend the lifespans of your dishwasher, laundry machines, kitchen range and refrigerator.
How long do dishwashers last?
According to Consumer Reports, you can expect the average dishwasher to last about 10 years before it needs to be replaced, but small issues may crop up during that decade. To keep your dishwasher running in peak form, perform these regular maintenance tasks:
- Clean out the dishwasher filter regularly — or if you notice remaining food particles even after the dishwasher has been run.
- If you have hard water, clean the interior of the dishwasher regularly to keep hard water stains and buildup from accumulating.
- Check to make sure the door is sealed and does not allow any water to leak out during a wash cycle. Regularly wipe down the gasket on the seal to ensure the door can close fully.
- Check your dishwasher’s owner manual for detailed cleaning instructions and follow them to the letter.
How long do washing machines and dryers last?
Like dishwashers, most homeowners can expect their laundry set up — washer and dryer — to have an average lifespan of about 10 years. Of course, this is dependent on who is using the machines. Empty nesters may find that their slower laundry schedule allows them to keep a washer and dryer operating for years longer while a large, busy family going through a dozen loads a week may find their washer or dryer on the fritz before the decade is up.
So, how can you keep laundry machines running optimally for longer? Let’s start with the washer.
Washer maintenance and upkeep
Does the laundry room or closet shake once the spin cycle kicks on? That’s not a sign of a hard-working machine; it means that your washing machine isn’t level to the ground. Don’t just eyeball a fix. Consumer Reports recommends that you test each leg once at a time. “Once the washer feels stable, use a level to check it front to back and side to side, adjust as necessary, then tighten the lock nuts on the feet.”
Additionally, be sure:
- To use only the recommended amount of laundry soap for each load.
- Not to overload the washer with more than it can handle.
- To use washer bags for delicate items or items that have long straps, hooks or wires — especially if you have a top-loader with a drum.
- Cut down on your laundry loads by using some items — such as bath towels, denim and sweatshirts — a few times between washings.
Extending the life cycle of your dryer
To keep your dryer running longer, focus on keeping the ducts free and clear of lint and dust. And if you have an older accordion foil duct, Consumer Reports recommends replacing it with a smooth metal option. Be sure to clean out the lint trap after each dryer cycle, as well.
As with the washing machine, it’s critical that you don’t fill your dryer with oversized loads. Take your time to wash and dry your clothes with similarly-colored items, in batches that your machines can handle.
How long do gas ranges and electric ranges last?
The National Association of Home Builders estimates that gas ranges have an average life expectancy of about 15 years, while electric ranges are just a few years behind at 13 years, according to info on bobvila.com. To avoid calling for an appliance repair specialist on your range, homeowners should focus on these basic clean-up tasks:
- Wipe down the smooth cooktop — or clean under and around the stovetop grates after each use.
- Don’t wait for a gooey cheese drip from a pizza to remind you it’s been awhile since you last ran the self-clean cycle on your oven. Set it on a weekend day when you’ll be in your house for several hours.
- As you did with the dishwasher seal, check to make sure that your oven’s door fully closes. Wipe down the seal regularly.
How long do refrigerators last?
Our final major appliance is the refrigerator, which homeowners can expect to last 10 years or more. Here are two easy ways you can extend your refrigerator’s lifespan:
- Check regularly to make sure that food debris isn’t accumulating in the refrigerator’s door seal.
- Don’t overload your refrigerator. If the freezer vents get blocked, the motor will need to work overtime to keep the refrigerator cool.
- Regularly change the air and water filters on newer models when prompted.
Last, move your refrigerator out from the wall on occasion. Clean behind and under your fridge, then vacuum the coils to keep them free and clear of buildup that can limit their efficacy.
Wish your home appliances could last longer?
When a household appliance starts to degrade or stops working altogether, it can be stressful to consider the immediate replacement cost. To avoid that frantic moment of checking your savings account, consider purchasing a home warranty. The Edina Realty home warranty plan covers all the appliances we have discussed today, in addition to larger systems like water heaters, plumbing and more.
Reach out to our home warranty specialists to discuss how you can protect yourself from unexpected replacement costs on your home’s appliances.