Over the past decade or so, major home appliances and the appliance industry as a whole have significantly changed. Design changes, new functions and features, quality of components, and advanced manufacturing techniques have vastly altered the way appliances work and how long they will last before needing to be repaired or replaced. Whether you’re buying a new appliance or deciding whether or not to repair an old one, it can be extremely useful to know about how long it’s going to last. There are many variables that contribute to life expectancy of appliances. Depending on the model and brand, the original cost, manufacturing quality, and how heavily it´s used, an appliance may last a longer or shorter period of time than national averages. Keep in mind that the life expectancy listed here is just a general guideline. Obviously a washer that is owned by a bachelor will last longer than one owned by a family of six.
Nevertheless, it´s useful information to have, especially if you want to make sure you get your money´s worth. Just knowing that a microwave is most likely going to die after only 10 years, or that you need to budget for a replacement for your gas range after about 15, helps plan for the inevitable expense. And if you are buying used appliances, it´s a good indicator of how long you can expect a five-year-old top-loading washer to last. The best way to ensure your appliances have a long, healthy life is to perform regular maintenance and have them checked periodically by an appliance repair expert.
They don’t make ‘em like they used to. This old adage rings especially true in today’s home appliance industry. One of the main reasons for this is what we in the industry call “planned obsolescence”. Planned obsolescence is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life so it will need to be replaced. Somewhere over the years, appliance manufacturers got smart and realized that the longer they made appliances last, the longer it was going to be before you bought another one. Of course, they walk a fine line between making their products last long enough where you will be satisfied with the use you got out of it, and being disappointed to the point where you won’t buy the same brand again.
Another contributing factor to the shorter life expectancy of new appliances is the quality of the parts and components being used. To meet consumer demand on lower appliance prices, manufacturers are always looking to cut production costs. One of the main ways to make a less expensive washer or refrigerator is to use cheaper parts. Back when our grandfathers and grandmothers were buying appliances, the manufacturer’s main concern was to build a quality product that would give the buyer years and years of good service. Today, manufacturers are looking to build appliances as economically as possible, which is one of the main reasons more and more appliances are being made in Mexico and Asia.
The following table shows average life expectancies for common household appliances. This information has been derived from different sources including manufacturers´ websites and consumer resources, and is intended only as an estimate. Care and maintenance, as well as proper installation also play big roles in performance and longevity.
LIFE EXPECTANCY (YEARS)
Dryer (gas or electric)