Many people expect once they find the perfect range or the perfect refrigerator it will last forever and they never need to go through that excruciating decision making process again. Replacing appliances occasionally can be a good thing as the energy efficiency of appliances continues to improve making them less expensive to operate. Any appliance has two costs: the purchase price and the cost of operation.
Many businesses like apartment complexes and owners of rental homes put aside funds every year to replace common household appliances as their life expectancy ranges from 5 years for a compact refrigerator to 20 years for tank less water heaters. Most appliances fall in the 10 to 15 year range.
Three things can expand the life of any appliance; these are proper installation, care and maintenance.
Based on a survey of information gathered from various sources including manufacturer’s websites and consumer resource agencies, the following appliances have an expected life of 10 years. These include a trash compactor, microwave oven, smoke detector, room sized air conditioner and dishwasher. A top loading washing machine is expected to last 14 years while the front loading models only last 11. An electric range will provide 17 years of service and a gas range offers 19. An electric water heater will provide 13 to 14 years of service while a gas water heater needs to be replaced in 11 to 13. Refrigerators come in at 14 years and dryers last an average of 13. These are just an average for the industry; individual makes and models may perform differently.
Newer appliances are considerably more energy efficient and many states and the federal government are offering tax credits to people who upgrade to one of these energy efficient units. This is good news for the consumer who has found an exciting new model of refrigerator, washer and dryer, dishwasher or range that they would love to purchase. They can take this information on the life expectancy, the new energy efficiency ratings advertised on the new models and the rebates on taxes offered by different government agencies to their significant other and show them how buying one of the exciting new appliances will save them money. It is a fairly reasonable expectation that the cost of energy will not decline at any time in the foreseeable future; any investment in energy efficient appliances will continue to reward the owner over many years.
Most household appliances have a life expectancy of between 10 to 20 years; consumer should plan on replacing these periodically with new energy efficient models.