Nothing lasts forever, especially not home appliances.
As a homeowner, you have to ask yourself how much longer you have until something needs replaced. Whether it’s a kitchen appliance, such as a refrigerator, or your favorite quality of life enhancement – the air conditioner – every bit of your home only has so long before it gives up the ghost. Outside of a major, obvious issue, how long can you expect before things need replaced?
Washer & Dryer
Although we put the washer and dryer together, they actually have different life expectancies. Washers are usually good for 11-14 years, depending on type, while dryers have an expectancy of 13 years. To keep these units in tip-top shape, practice routine maintenance and preventative measures. This include replacing any stretched belts, making sure they are level on the ground to reduce rattling, keeping the washer at least four inches away from the wall to help the water supply hoses from kinking, and, last but not least, not overloading the appliances.
One of the scarier items on this list, damaged or insufficient wiring can be a real thorn in the side of the average homeowner. On the bright side, if everything is in working order, you can expect any copper-plated, copper clad aluminum, or bare copper wiring to last a lifetime. One important piece of maintenance homeowners can do is test circuit breakers. Beyond that simple test, you shouldn’t have to do much to keep your wiring going unless you have more serious issues brewing. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to anything electrical, and remember “better safe than sorry.” If electrical work seems intimidating or too dangerous, always consult a professional before attempting anything on your own.
These days there are two types of water heaters to consider: tank and tankless. Tank water heaters are the traditional model we all know, and you can expect one to last 10-13 years. Protective gloves, eyewear, and clothing are strongly advised while working on a water heater. The two easiest things you can do to keep your traditional water heater going is to occasionally test the pressure release valve and drain the tank to remove as much sediment as possible.
When it comes to the tankless models of water heaters, they are expected to keep going for more than 20 years. The only annual maintenance option with tankless water heaters is to flush the tank according to manufacturer’s directions.
The workhorse of summer sits in the middle of the pack with an expectancy of 10 to 15 years. As for maintaining your air conditioner, it’s all about cleaning out the dirt and debris. Removing the top fan gives you access to cleaning out the entirety of the unit’s interior. Making sure you get every bit of grime you can find out of the fins and then attempting to straighten any misshapen fins goes a long way. Finally, blowing the debris off of the air conditioner’s evaporator coil and leveling the unit helps keep everything running smoothly.
Expected to have a good 14-19 years of life, many owners replace refrigerators before they run the risk of breaking down for good. There are a few steps you can take regarding fridge maintenance: clean the door seals and check that they are sealing properly, clean out the condenser coils and remove any surrounding dust, and make sure it’s never empty.
Gas Range Oven
The champion of the kitchen is your average gas range oven, which clocks in with an expectancy of 15 years. The best (or maybe worst) part about the gas range oven is that it keeps running smooth with a little TLC in the form of elbow grease. Get some soap, water, and a rag and go to town cleaning every bit of the inside and outside on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that none of the above numbers are set in stone, and life expectancy may depend on how well any previous owners treated the item. Regular maintenance of all of these items will keep them going for a long while, and make things much easier on your wallet.