When to Replace Your Household Appliances

April 18, 2024
A kitchen sits unoccupied in the afternoon.

A household appliance is a vital part of any home. They make life easier, more convenient, and more comfortable. However, like everything else in life, they do not last forever. Proper maintenance is important to making sure your appliances last as long as possible, because some can be quite costly to replace. In this article, we’ll dive into the signs and symptoms your appliances need to be replaced and the average life span of each.

Average life span of household appliances

On average, most major household appliances last between 8 and 15 years, but this can vary greatly depending on the type of appliance and how well it is maintained. Use this average time frame to help plan and budget to replace an appliance. Some older appliances can be repaired to make them last longer. [1]

How long do dishwashers last?

The average life span of a dishwasher is around 10 to 13 years. If your dishwasher is making unusual noises and isn’t getting dishes clean, it may need maintenance. If it’s getting older and you’re debating whether to replace or repair, there’s a general rule of thumb to use. If the cost of repair exceeds roughly half the cost of the original appliance, then it’s better to get the dishwasher replaced. [2]

How long do microwaves last?

The life span of your microwave depends on the usage and maintenance. For example, if a microwave serves a large family that uses it heavily with little maintenance, then it’s expected to last around 4 to 5 years. An average family with normal microwave use and good maintenance should expect their microwave to last around 7 to 8 years. A microwave that’s used less frequently by a single person and is well maintained can be expected to last around 10 years. [3]

How long do ovens last?

On average, ovens can last between 10 and 15 years, and maybe even a little longer if you opt for a gas range. If your oven’s igniter is faulty, the wiring is loose, the tempered glass top is cracked or if you’re experiencing other symptoms that make it dangerous to cook on, then it’s a good idea to replace the oven. However, if you just need a specific part to be replaced, this can be covered under your warranty, and then it may make more sense to just repair the oven. [2]

How long do washers and dryers last?

Washing machines have an average life span of 10 years, while dryers have a life span of 13 years. Many consumers replace them at the same time so they match. If you aren’t concerned about looks, it’s definitely fine to replace the appliances one at a time. [4]

How long do refrigerators last?

The life expectancy of a refrigerator is about 10 to 15 years, depending on the model and features. Use the working condition of your fridge as a gauge for replacing vs. repairing. If an individual component needs to be replaced or repaired, this is easier to fix than multiple malfunctioning components. [5]

How long do garbage disposals last?

Garbage disposals can last up to 12 years. If your garbage disposal is over 12 years old, it might be time to get a new one. The average cost of repairing a garbage disposal can be more expensive than installing a new one, so keep that in mind when thinking through your decision. [4]

Common signs that it’s time to replace appliances

If your appliances need to be looked at by a professional, here are some warning signs you should get in contact with them:

  1. Noises such as humming or whistling, excessive noise that is out of the ordinary
  2. Appliance won’t turn on and has stopped functioning
  3. Water leaking from around the appliance
  4. Utility bills are higher than usual [6]

If you’re deciding between replacing and repairing, follow the 5-10-15 rule: If the appliance is 5 years old, it could be better to repair; if it’s 10 years old, compare the costs of repairing to replacing; and if it’s 15 or more years old, it may be best to just replace it. [7]

Protect yourself from unexpected appliance replacements

It’s a good idea to keep track of the age of your appliances and their expected life span to protect yourself from unexpected appliance replacements. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs can also extend the life of your appliances. Also, consider investing in a home warranty or appliance insurance to cover the cost of unexpected replacements.


[1] “What’s the Average Life span of Common Household Appliances?”  homeserve.com/en-us/blog/home-improvement/how-long-do-appliances-last, (Accessed Jan. 2024).

[2] “The Ultimate Guide on When to Replace Your Household Appliances,” Isis Briones, architecturaldigest.com/story/the-ultimate-guide-on-when-to-replace-your-household-appliances (Accessed Jan. 2024).

[3] “How Long Does a Microwave Last? Microwave Maintenance Tips,” coastappliances.ca/blogs/learn/how-long-does-a-microwave-last (Accessed Jan. 2024).

[4] “How Long Do Kitchen Appliances Last?” Hanna Kielar, rockethomes.com/blog/homeowner-tips/common-home-appliances-youll-need-to-replace-and-when-you-should-do-it (Accessed Jan. 2024).

[5] “Solved! This is How Long Refrigerators Last,” Theresa Clement, Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila, bobvila.com/articles/how-long-do-refrigerators-last (Accessed Jan. 2024).

[6] “Warning Signs That Home Appliances Need Repair,” Alysia Heun, realtyexecutives.com/blog/warning-signs-that-home-appliances-need-repair (Accessed Jan. 2024).

[7] “When to Replace Household Appliances: Essential Answer,” Rachel Adams, stanfordmag.org/contents/when-to-replace-household-appliances-essential-answer (Accessed Jan. 2024).


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