Your home appliances are not meant to be used forever. It is true that old appliances have longer lifespans than units designed and manufactured today, but, often, their technology is outdated. Over the years, brands have made improvements so that devices of today run more efficiently and with a much lower environmental footprint. Even if a refrigerator or a toaster from the ‘60s is still running, it is not a good idea to continue to keep it around. Running it will only increase your power consumption, and it could also be a safety risk as damaged internals could ignite and start a house fire.
While modern appliances have a use-by date, they still would work for quite a long time, especially with proper care. Here is a short guide on how long you should use major home appliances and tips on how to make them last.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Most homes in the United States use heating and cooling systems to control indoor temperature despite the weather conditions outdoors. They are necessary, especially during days when temperatures reach extreme levels. They are also quite expensive.
On average, heating and cooling systems can last 15 to 20 years.
You can get 15 to 20 years from your furnace as long as you get your furnace serviced regularly for clearing and maintenance. An annual inspection will guarantee that your heating system will be in good working condition for as long as possible, as well as lower utility bills and decrease health risks. On the other hand, air conditioning units can last up to 15 years. Manufacturers recommend that air conditioning be serviced annually, specifically around spring before it undergoes heavy use as the weather starts to warm.
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Discarded food can get stuck in the pipes, creating a blockade that clogs sinks. Most households, therefore, use a garbage disposal to grind matter into smaller particles that will slide more easily down the drain pipes. Because of the intense work it does, it can only last for as little as eight years, with up to 12 years maximum. After that, it needs to be replaced with a new unit.
To get as much time with your garbage disposal as possible, remove the debris at the bottom of the appliance regularly. Moreover, avoid flushing down bones, eggshells, pasta, grease, potato peels, and other fibrous materials.
Washing Machine and Dryer
Households regularly do their laundry, often multiple times a week. That can put a strain on their washing machine and dryer.
That said, expect your washing machine to break after about ten years, even with proper maintenance. The process of agitating and spinning different types of clothing is hard work, and it wears down washing machines in the long run.
While washing machines have a relatively short lifespan, it still requires proper maintenance. The drum should be cleaned by running the washing machine with a mix of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda.
Meanwhile, dryers can only last for about 13 years with proper use and regular maintenance. Homeowners should regularly remove debris, such as lint that accumulated, from the screen and the vent. Doing so would extend the lifespan of the appliance. Moreover, it will prevent the dryer from catching fire, destroying property, and endangering you and your loved ones.
The microwave is a convenient cooking tool. It heats up food quickly without the hassle of opening the stove, stirring, and then cleaning up afterward. With the microwave, you can pop a ready-made meal in and then wait for it to heat for a few minutes. It can heat almost anything, from bags of popcorn to last night’s leftovers.
But a regular microwave can only last for about nine years. It will break down sooner if people do not use it as intended.
One thing that everyone has to remember is to never run the microwave empty. Place the food or beverage you want to heat inside and then turn it on. Otherwise, you will be wasting energy and endangering your safety.
Every once in a while, remove the carousel tray and then rinse it in the sink. Wipe the inside of the microwave down since food splatters during the heating process. Not cleaning up the food splatters and spills is not only gross, but it will also cause the material of the microwave to degrade faster.
The Bottom Line
Modern appliances may not last as long as older machines. However, with proper use and regular maintenance, your home appliances could live a long life in service of the entire household.