Home appliances and systems seem to break down when you least expect it – like right before you are having a dinner party or big family celebration. Not only is it inconvenient, it can be costly too. Often it’s hard to tell whether your appliance just needs a new part or whether it’s on its last leg and needs to be replaced.
But how do you know how long appliances should last? The answer is often a guessing game. The lifespan of a home appliance or system depends on the brand, model, how well you take care of them and how frequently they are used.
We’ve put together a list of general guidelines to help determine whether the age of your product is within its life expectancy or whether you should start saving up for a new one. These time estimates are based on The National Association of Home Builders “Study of the Life Expectancies of Home Components.”
- Refrigerators, dryers and electric ranges: 13 years
- Gas ranges: 15 years
- Washers and water heaters: 10 years
- Dishwashers & Microwave ovens: 9 years
- HVAC systems: 15 to 20 years
- Garage doors and garage door openers: 10 to 15 years
As a general rule, if a repair is going to run at least half of the cost to replace the item, then you should replace it. Also, it’s important to note that any appliance that could potentially cause a hazard should be discarded.
If you are shopping for a home, or trying to sell an existing home with older appliances, you might want to consider a home warranty, which is a service agreement covering most major home systems and appliances.