Top10.com has compiled information on the average lifespan of common household appliances from reports by industry experts. Studies include the 2006 National Association of Home Builders study on the longevity of home appliances, which is still commonly referenced and used today.
The service life of 10 common household appliances
The service life of 10 common household appliances
Nothing lasts forever – and that’s true despite advances in modern technology for home appliances. While the lifespan of appliances in our home may not be something we think about regularly—if at all—it doesn’t hurt to know how many years your favorite household helpers have left.
To better understand the longevity of traditional home appliances – and recognizing that many of the latest smart technology models can have different lifespans and home warranties – Top10.com has compiled information on the average lifespan of common home appliances from reports by industry experts. Studies include the 2006 National Association of Home Builders study on the longevity of traditional home appliances, which are still commonly referenced and used today.
So the next time you hear that odd rattling noise coming from your fridge, or are wondering whether replacing an old vacuum cleaner is better than repairing it, consider this list a useful reference on the life expectancy of these common household appliances.
Vacuum: 8 years
In 1907, James Spangler had the idea of using a portable electric vacuum cleaner while working as a janitor for a department store in Ohio. The concept came to him because the carpet sweeper he used at work was making his asthma worse. His idea is now practically ubiquitous in households all over the world – with or without carpets. When a vacuum cleaner needs repairs, it’s often because the hoses and filters are clogged, or the drive belt needs to be replaced.
Room air conditioner: 9 years
In the 1930s, HH Schultz and JQ Sherman received a patent that allowed the company to install window air conditioners for home use. Before that, air conditioning was a luxury found in businesses like movie theaters and shops. In order to maintain the health and lifespan of this unit, it is ideal to ensure that the window units are free of any build-up of dirt or dust that can clog the filters and reduce efficiency.
Dishwasher: 9 years
Dishwashers that typically last nine years can last up to 13 years with proper care and maintenance. When dishwashers aren’t working properly, it’s often due to a worn gasket or gasket, which if left untreated can cause a variety of internal problems. Luckily, many modern, more durable dishwashers are built to last and are able to resist rust and cracks in the plumbing components.
Microwave: 9 years
Percy Spencer, an American engineer at Raytheon industrial group, accidentally invented the microwave oven in the 1940s. The unexpected discovery came one day when Spencer was working near magnetrons that generate microwaves. As he did so, he happened to notice that the peanut candy bar in his pocket was starting to melt.
Over the years, even with more advanced technology, microwaves have changed very little. Many of the newer models offer automatic heating options and even grill functions. There’s not much that will make a microwave last longer other than keeping it clean and making sure it’s not on when empty.
Washing machine: 11 years
Household washing machines were hand-operated up until the 19th century. In 1908, Thor, the first electric washing machine, was launched. Thor continued to modernize washing machine technology throughout the 20th century, with innovations such as the automagic hybrid washer/dishwasher in the 1940s, which combined a drum for washing and dishwashing.
ozanuysal // Shutterstock
Fridge: 12 years
With the invention of freon in the late 1920s, domestic refrigerators began to take off. Previously, compressors used hazardous gases such as ammonia and methyl chloride, leading to fatal leaks in refrigerators. The creation of freon, a proprietary colorless gas or liquid compound, enabled cooling capabilities without causing harm.
Some common problems can arise with more modern refrigerators, including blockages in the defrost drain, which is an easy fix. Another reason is the freezer not getting cold enough, which can be fixed by checking the freezer for loose seals or making sure it’s not overcrowded.
Dryer: 13 years
J. Ross Moore created designs for the first automatic clothes dryer after getting tired of hanging his clothes outside, especially in winter. Moore’s designs for an electric dryer were presented to the public in 1938.
Modern tumble dryers already have a long service life, but this can be extended even further by cleaning the lint filter and disposing of the lint after each wash.
Water heater: 14 years
Water heaters are not only used to keep hot water flowing to your showers and faucets, but also ensure that there is a constant supply of water through your plumbing. Some water heater maintenance tips include flushing the unit about every six months and frequently checking the anode rod, which protects the water tank from rusting.
Chad Robertson Media // Shutterstock
Gas range: 15 years
There is a chance for gas stoves to last a little over 15 years depending on how often they are used. The gas stove was patented by British inventor James Sharp in 1826. In 1915 a thermostat for the stove was introduced, which was an important development for gas stoves at the time. Gas stoves require minimal maintenance, and if repair is needed, parts can be purchased at an appliance store.
Thermostat: 35 years
Mark Honeywell has been credited with developing the first programmable thermostats in 1906, which included a clock that could be used to preset the temperature. In the 1930s, thermostats with an electric clock appeared, and in the 1980s, digitally displayed thermostats with additional functions such as programming the time and day of the week appeared. In the 1990s and 2000s, thermostat capabilities continued to expand and allowed smart thermostats to connect to the internet.
This story originally appeared on Top10.com and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.
For the Holidays: Get inspirational home and gift ideas – sign up now!