Hello Again Britannia family....
We hope this post finds you all well and happy. Once again, I find myself having to apologize for the length of time between posts. Now, with a new year afoot and intentions to stay on top of our little blog, I am hoping for a little more consistency in blog entries. Feel free to hold me accountable on this point .
Anyway without further ado, lets get on with today"s topic du jour, appliance life span.
This is something that I actually get asked about a fair amount ......How long should my major appliances last. and that is an awesome question.......Unfortunately, one to which there is no hard and fast answer, as many variables come into play when dealing with appliances, There is however, a general range of what you can reasonably expect for an appliance life cycle. Most people can agree, that in general household appliances aren't built as robustly as they once where. Some people even argue that manufacturers build things to fail after a finite life cycle - after all, how else would they sell you the next latest and greatest household appliance if the old one runs longer than Forest Gump.
Another key point to bear in mind is that most appliance controls have switched from solid state to circuit boards. Add in a healthy dose of heat , moisture and vibration and you have a recipe for eventual failure. such is the sad reality of the modern appliances in our homes.
1) Oven\Range cook-top
On average a decent oven\range should perform for about 15 years. The most common parts that fail on ovens ranges and cook tops are Ignitors, thermostats, elements and on occasion the control board if equipped. It should be noted, that failure of any of the before mentioned parts is by no means a death knell for the appliance. Most of the items listed can be replaced for a reasonable cost. However, If the unit is towards the end of its useful service life when one of these items fail, then it may end up being more cost effective to simply replace it..
A Dishwasher has evolved in to a "must have" kitchen appliance these days, If like me, you have unpleasant memories of washing dishes by hand, then you can count yourself in with the majority of people who feel this is an indispensable kitchen item. Generally speaking, and failing any major component failures, you should expect about 10 years out of a modern dishwasher. Kids make an awesome plan B dishwasher, should the mechanical variety fail. As my Mum always used to tell me " it builds character" thanks Mum.
On to arguably one of the most important and expensive appliances in our homes- The humble refrigerator. Long evolved from a simple insulated box that you filled with ice to keep the milk fresh. The modern fridge now has as many bells and whistles, as a high end sports car. It's WiFi enabled, water dispensing, touch screen display, state of the art lettuce chilling. art work displaying and ice cube spewing to name but a few features. Unfortunately though, the refrigerator can also be one of the more expensive items to repair or replace. Average useful lifespan for a refrigerator, is approximately 15 years. On the bright side, if you replace your fridge the old one makes for an excellent beverage chiller if you have the room.. one last point to bear in mind, is the age to efficiency ratio to run a refrigerator or for that matter any appliance.
4) Hot water heater
When it comes to hot water heaters, there are quite a few variables to contemplate, All of which affect the longevity of this appliance. The hot water heater is arguably the silent star of any household, without it there is no hot shower in the morning, and as we all know, the rest is downhill from there.
Hot water heaters come in different flavors as I mentioned, meaning.....they are available with different tank warranties (qualities) which have a direct correlation to unit lifespan. warranties start as low as 4 year and go as high as 15 years. The average household in the US generally speaking, has a 10 year tank, which is pretty self explanatory. It means that, this hot water heater should last 10 years.or so....Now bear in mind, this is just an average, as I have seen 10 year units fail prematurely because of hard water and improper care. and conversely, I have seen well maintained 6 year units last 12 years with proper care.
Little has changed overall with hot water heaters over the last 15 years or so, save improved efficiency and venting options, Cost of replacement hot water heaters varies just as greatly as tank warranty does. expect to pay anywhere from $800 to over $2000 for a replacement unit..
,5) Furnace and Air conditioner
On average an HVAC system when properly maintained and correctly sized for the space to be heated or cooled, should last anywhere from 15-20 years. The key here is, being properly maintained. Furnaces and Air conditioners are probably the least well understood system of any home by the average home-owner. Most people simply turn the thermostat to heat or cool, and expect that there will be near instant heating or cooling effect as a result.. This is true 99% of the time except, when there is a system failure of some sort. A fair number of the heating and cooling calls I get during either season, are as a result of either improper or no maintenance on the HVAC system. It should be considered standard practice to have your Furnace and A\C inspected and maintained on an annual basis. This will ensure that your system is running correctly and as efficiently as possible. the upturn of this is that it should cost less to run throughout the year.
6) Washer Dryer
Both appliances have an average lifespan of about 8 to 12 years. This can be extended by regularly cleaning your lint trap. Additionally, clean your washer and dryer hoses, heating element, and dryer ducts at least once a year. Proper maintenance of your dryer not only extends its life, it also reduces the risk of a dryer fire (see previous blog entry on this dryer fires)This can happen when lint accumulates on the heating element Electric models) or in the dryer housing or ducts.
7) other appliances -Microwave oven\range hood etc.
As a general rule of thumb Microwaves will last approximately ten years or so. the same is also true of range hoods or extractor hoods and Bathroom exhaust fans. Ten years seems to be the golden rule for the majority of small to medium sized appliances these days. of course there are always exceptions to every rule and this is no different. depending on usage, maintenance and a splash of good old fashioned luck, there is no reason why some appliances cant far exceed there "average " lifespan.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog entry I hope you found it useful. as always please don't hesitate to leave us your comments and questions.
Hi My Name is Bruce Kenny and I am the owner and founder of Britannia Home Services. I am married with 3 kids and reside in Naperville Illinois.