How Long Should Appliances Keep Working?

When the major appliances in your home stop working the way they should, the repair costs can be so high you might  consider replacing them with a brand new replacement, or even a second-hand item.

There are two ways you can avoid these major repair or replacement costs:

  • Always buy brand new appliances

If the appliance is brand new the appliance should last several years before needing any repairs. Being new, it’s also going to look better within your home compared to an appliance that is years old.

But buying brand new, even if you buy during store sales, is the most expensive option in terms of upfront cost.

  • Buy second hand or keep appliances until they absolutely can’t be repaired anymore

This can be the cheapest option if you get some bargains and manage to get used appliances that still have plenty of life in them.

Unless you are an expert on how various appliances work, you are leaving it to luck when you buy an appliance. It might work without any problems for another 10 years, or it might break down a couple of weeks after you’ve bought it.

You can protect yourself though from the worst-case scenario by taking out home appliance insurance.

This insurance protection will pay for a service person to come to your home and repair or replace your appliance.

The more appliances you have covered the higher the cost of the insurance.

You can reduce the cost by only insuring specific appliances (perhaps your oldest ones), choosing lower claim limits per item or per year, and by taking a deductible on each claim.

There are lots of options to allow you to choose a policy that balances how much you’re prepared to pay with the appliances you think are most likely to break down and need repairs.

Knowing which appliances last the longest and how long that is, can help you design a policy that fits your needs.

How long should appliances keep going?

Gas Ranges

These are durable appliances which should last 15 years plus if you keep it well maintained. Clean grates with warm water and detergent and avoid using abrasives on the range top or inserting sharp objects into the holes in the burners.

Electric Ranges

These should last at least 13 years. Using a tray in the bottom can protect the range against spills and make for easier cleaning. Remove the electric elements and clean these and the range top with warm water and a sponge.

Range and Oven Hoods

These are simple appliances that should last 14 years or more with regular maintenance. Clean the filter regularly with hot soapy water, and the hood with hot water and a detergent. Make sure the duct does not become clogged

Dryers (Electric and Gas)

Most dryers will last about 13 years if maintained regularly. Remove and clean dust, fiber and lint regularly, and clean the outside with a sponge and warm water. Never put dirty clothes in a dryer.

Refrigerators

Although they run 24/7, refrigerators can be expected to last at least 14 years. Regularly vacuum the air intake at the base to clear it of dust. Frequently wipe the rubber door gaskets with a mild cleaner and soft cloth.

Garbage Disposals

These grind food matter into particles small enough to flush down drainpipes. This is demanding work on the motor so 8 years is a good life, but with maintenance that can stretch to 12 years or more. 

Always unplug the disposal before cleaning. Regularly remove debris from the bottom. Don’t put grease, bones, pasta, eggshells, potato peels and materials like pumpkin or celery down the garbage disposal. Ensure the disposal stays tightly screwed in place.

Freezers

These will last up to 11 years with regular maintenance. Wipe down the inside and outside of the freezer a couple of times a year with dish soap and water. Vacuum any dust or lint from the coils in the back of the freezer.

Washing Machines

These should last up to 11 years. They do work hard agitating and spinning clothing, so try to keep clothing balanced in the drum, keep the drainage line clean and clear, and regularly clean the washing machine drum.

Microwaves

These should last up to 9 years. Frequently wipe down the inside of the microwave to clean it of food splatter and wash the carousel tray in the kitchen sink. 

Dishwashers

These will last 9 – 10 years if kept clean. Make sure you stack all items as advised in the instruction book. Make sure it is draining ok and not blocked and keep the air vent clear and clean.

As a rule of thumb, if you choose to take out home appliance insurance, you should only include appliances that are at least five years old.

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