Here’s how long your home appliances should last


When we spend big money on household appliances, we expect them to hold up for a long time — maybe even forever. But how long should the appliances in your home really last?

Refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers: How long should you expect them to last?

First of all, it’s worth noting that many of the appliances on the market today basically have some kind of computer technology in them, making them more powerful but, in some cases, shortening their life expectancy.

So what kind of lifespan can we expect with today’s appliances? Consumer products site asked that question recently and the results were illuminating. Here are three things to keep in mind when it comes to the newer appliances, according to

  • They’re cheaper: They cost one-third less than they used to, when adjusted for inflation.
  • They’re lighter: Because they don’t weigh as much (less metal, more plastic), they’re cheaper to ship.
  • They can save you money: Compared to older appliances, the current generation has high-efficiency model options that can cut down your energy and water bills.

Refrigerator: 10 years

How to increase its lifespan: It’s absolutely no fun when something goes wrong with the fridge, especially if it stops cooling and your frozen food begins to thaw.

Because the appliance needs to dissipate heat generated by its motor, it’s never a good idea to put a lot of items on the top of the fridge. You should regularly dust your fridge, too, because any kind of film can trap heat. Dust can accumulate on the back of the fridge, which can lead to cooling problems. Regularly vacuum the coils to solve this issue.

Dishwasher: 10-13 years

How to increase its lifespan: Because any food or gunk buildup can mess up your appliance, you should regularly inspect your dishwasher’s spray arms.

While wiping down your eating utensils and plates isn’t necessary, if you have large or hard-to-remove pieces of food stuck to your saucers, cups and the like, scrape them before putting them into your unit. Leaving big leftovers in your plates will only clog your dishwasher and could cost you big money down the line.

Washing machine: 10-13 years

How to increase its lifespan: Believe or not, washing full loads not only saves energy and water, but can extend the life of your washer by cutting down on the number of cycles it runs.

While a penny here and there won’t harm your machine, excessive coins could damage the interior barrel or, worse, make their way down the drain line.

Dryer: 10-13 years

How to increase its lifespan: Dutifully pull out and clean the lint filter. Always make sure your dryer is level, which will allow it to operate more efficiently and cut down on vibration. It’s also a good idea to inspect the exhaust duct for any clogging at least once a year.

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