It can come out of nowhere – the dishwasher stops washing, the water heater isn't heating, or the fridge quits cooling. All appliances have a life expectancy. And there are signs to look for that can help you prepare and plan out your appliance purchases to avoid some of those unwanted surprises. Here’s a look at the average lifespan of your refrigerator and other household items, along with some hints on how to tell they're getting too old.
Refrigerators tend to last just over ten years. Many are replaced earlier due to styling changes or an interest in the latest technology and conveniences. Signs that it may be time to replace your refrigerator include excessive condensation or frost build-up, trouble maintaining the proper temperature, and the motor overheating.
A microwave will last about nine years if cleaned properly. A simple cleaning tip: microwave a mixture of water and white vinegar for a few minutes, then wipe down the inside surfaces. If it consistently takes longer than the recommended amount of time to cook something, it might be time to look for a new microwave.
Ovens can last up to 20 years. Light maintenance and part replacement might be required to keep them running that long. A good rule of thumb is that if repairs start to add up to about half the cost of a new oven, it might be time to consider buying a new one.
Gas or Electric Range
A gas or electric range can last between 10 and 15 years. Gas ranges tend to last longer than electric.
Dishwashers can last about 10 years. Remember to clean out the drain regularly to prevent clogs and back-ups. New energy-efficient dishwashers can help reduce water and energy use. Signs that you need a new dishwasher include: standing water at the bottom of the machine, leaks, and unclean dishes after a wash.
Water heaters should be replaced about every ten years. Be on the lookout for leaks, trouble maintaining temperature, unusual noises, or rust spots.
Water softeners can last 10-15 years. A sign that you need a new water softener is that you are unable to get soap to properly lather. This can be noticed when using shampoo and hand soap, as well as by experiencing problems with laundry.
Faucets and Fixtures
Expect to get about 15 years out of your faucets and fixtures. This is an area where changing taste and style may lead to earlier updates. Given the low cost to make small faucet and fixture replacements, this can be an easy way to update a room without breaking your budget.
A good furnace can last about 20 years. To keep it working smoothly, remember to replace the filter regularly. Replacing the furnace provides homeowners with the opportunity to switch to a more energy-efficient model. Incentives could make it worthwhile to upgrade before the product’s end of life.
A window air conditioner unit can have a lifespan of about ten years. The key to a long-lasting air conditioning unit is keeping the filter clean.
Carpet can last up to ten years if maintained properly. However, many people update carpet sooner due to style and decorating changes. Along with regular vacuuming, steam cleaning can help keep carpet looking like new. Tackle spills quickly to keep them from turning into stains.
With regular cleaning of the window panes and tracks, windows will generally have a 30-year life span. Other reasons to replace windows include:
- Energy-efficient upgrades
- Sound reduction
- Style changes (e.g. changing from multiple single frames to a large picture window)
Roofing should last for about 25 years. Make sure to repair any storm damage quickly in order to keep it working effectively.
Siding comes in many different styles and materials. The general rule of thumb is that siding can last about 30 years – though some materials can last even longer. Depending on the materials, to keep siding looking and acting like new, wash or add a fresh coat of paint as needed.
Disposing of Old Household Items
Often it is the case that household items being replaced still have some life left in them. That’s where ReStore comes in! ReStore accepts donations of household items that are in good working condition (and less than 10 years old) such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and more. As a home outlet store that is open to the public, anyone can donate or shop. Here is a list of items we accept and the conditions we require for donation. Please check the list of items we accept, as not all appliances and household items mentioned in this article are accepted at our stores as donations.