Fix It or Ditch It? What's the Typical Life of a Major Home Appliance?



Do you consider the typical life of your appliances when you buy them? Do you stop and ponder a refrigerator's lifespan or ask yourself "how long do dryers last?" 

We bet you don't. That's okay, most people don't. It is an important thing to research, however: when it comes around to repairing appliances, you need to know if it's worth it.

Conversely, you also need to know whether your appliances need replacing. American homeowners tend to spend over $1,000 a year on appliances and in Australia, the figure is similar. Could you save money by repairing existing appliances instead of rushing out and buying new white goods?

To know whether it's worth calling out a repair company or whether you should just buy a new one, you need to know whether your appliances were built to last a long time. That's what we're here to help you uncover. Ready to find out whether you should repair it or toss it?

Then keep reading.

What Is an Air Conditioner's Life Expectancy?

An air conditioner is an essential part of life in Australia. No matter where you are in the country, you'll know how hot summers can be. The last thing you want is for your A/C unit to pack up, but when it does, what do you do?

Should you call an appliance repair company? Should you immediately dash to the store to grab a replacement? Should you melt in the heat?

A good quality air conditioning unit should last you at least 10-15 years. The air conditioner's precise lifespan will depend on how much it is used. If it isn't used often, then you may be able to eke 20 years out of your unit. 

Your maintenance of the unit will also affect its lifespan. If a unit is well taken care of, you could get 25 years out of it even when using it a lot. 

Here are a few general maintenance tips to help you get the most out of your unit:

  • Keep your A/C unit on the south side of your home, so they aren't exposed to as much direct sunlight

  • Don't crank it too high in summer or you will wear it out more quickly

  • Cover the condenser in the cooler months to keep out debris

Follow these tips and your A/C should keep running for around 25 years.

How Long Do Dryers and Washing Machines Last?

You might not use them every day, but these appliances probably get a lot more use than your A/C unit. With this in mind, how long should they last you? When should you call out an appliance repair company?

Washers and dryers should have a typical life of around 10-13 years. How long you get out of them, once again, depends on usage conditions and maintenance. If you've only had your machine for a few years and it stops working, try and get it repaired first!

There are a few different tips that can help extend the life of these white goods. They are:

  • Clean your dryer's lint trap after every use

  • Check your hoses for leaks or clogs

  • Check out your washing machine's filter and make sure nothing is stuck in there

How Long Is the Typical Life of an Oven or Cooker?

Another item that you probably use every single day, how long should an oven last you? This depends on whether you have an electric or a gas cooker. Electric cookers tend to last around 13 years, while gas cookers can last 15.

These appliances are designed for very regular use and are sturdy, as a result. The only thing that you need to keep an eye on is general cleanliness. Keeping your burners and oven clean is a hassle, but dirty ovens tend to break down more.

How Long Do Microwaves Last?

While we're on the topic of cooking, let's take a look at another appliance with perennial usage: the microwave. While these are built to be used a lot, they aren't as hardy as your average cooker. You should be able to get around five or seven years out of your microwave oven.

Like with a conventional oven, the best way to make it last a long time is to keep it clean. You should also make sure the door closes properly: this is a source of a lot of minor issues.

How Long Do Dishwashers Last?

If you live alone, you probably use a dishwasher once every couple of days. If you have a family, you're almost certainly running it every day. You might be distressed to learn that these only last around nine years.

There are some great ways to extend the typical life of a dishwasher. Keep dishwasher salt topped up, check hoses for leaks, clean the drain, and keep the arm unclogged.

How to Extend the Life of Appliances

If you've invested in a new suite of appliances, you'll want to know how to keep them going as long as you can. Let's take a look at some tips.

Try to do the little repairs yourself. A lot of maintenance can be done yourself. Top up dishwasher salt, keep your fridge defrosted, and in general, take good care of your appliances.

Also, don't overwork your appliances. Whether this means not cranking your A/C or not overloading your dryer, don't push your appliances past their limits.

When you've got a problem with your appliances, think about these three steps.

  1. Try repairing the problem yourself. Look at Youtube tutorials relating to your problem and search the web

  2. Call out a repair company if it has broken down before the end of its expected lifespan

  3. Buy a new appliance if you have to

Keeping the Appliance Demons at Bay

Repairs can seem the bane of your appliances' existence. Yet if your appliances haven't exceeded the typical life that you'd expect from them, don't drop everything. Try repairing it yourself and if that doesn't work, call out a repair company, and save yourself the cost of a replacement!

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