When we buy an appliance we expect it to last a long time, but what is a long time? Each appliance has an average life expectancy. It is good to keep track of the age of home appliances so you know when to start saving for their replacement. The actual time an appliance will last depends on several factors including their quality and how they are maintained and used. Make a list of all appliances and systems with their age and repair or update times.
Will Purchasing a Home Warranty Save Money on Appliance Repair?
Because appliance repair can be expensive and replacing worn-out appliances is even more costly, homeowners may consider purchasing home warranties to save money. If a home buyer is purchasing an existing home with older appliances they are not familiar with, a home warranty can be a very good investment. They can check pricing at 2-10 HBW and compare that with what even one big appliance repair can cost. Some plans are as little as $19.00 a month plus a small fee for each service call.
There are many homeowners who may benefit from a home warranty plan. The trick is to get the right plan and to know what it covers. Home warranty plans often cover appliances, heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, and custom add-ons. Some plans cover only kitchen appliances and some plans cover the whole house. This is why it is important to read the contract before signing it.
The home warranty company will often offer more coverage for an added cost. If the basic plan does not cover the washer and dryer or the water heater, that can be added.
The Average Life Expectancy of Appliances
In deciding if it is a good idea to purchase a home warranty plan, it is helpful to know how old each appliance is and what the average life expectancy for that appliance is. If several appliances are near the end of their normal life, buying a home warranty might be a good idea.
- Gas ranges last about 15 years and electric ranges about 13 years.
- Range hoods last about 14 years.
- Electric or gas dryers last about 13 years.
- Washing machines have a life expectancy of about 10 years.
- Refrigerators last about 13 years.
- Garbage disposals last 8 to 10 years.
- Freezers can last up to 11 years.
- Microwaves average life is 9 years
- Dishwashers on average last 9 or 10 years
These are average lifespans, and appliances can last longer if they are top-quality when purchased and are maintained throughout their lives. Appliances with moderate use last longer than appliances that are very frequently used. Appliances used correctly and according to manufacturer’s directions will also last longer. An appliance that is incorrectly installed or misused will not last as long.
When you move into an existing home with older appliances with no idea how they have been maintained, you don’t know how long they will last. It might be a good idea to have an appliance repair person inspect each appliance and repair and service each one as needed and report on thepr condition. That way, you know what to expect and will get the best use out of each.
Depending on the technician’s report, you will know if purchasing a homeowner’s warranty is a good idea. The home warranty company may insist on inspecting the appliances before executing a home warranty.
The life Expectancy of Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing Equipment
Heating and cooling equipment will need to be replaced if you live in a home long enough. It can last longer with good maintenance.
- The furnace and heating equipment last on average 20 years.
- The Air conditioning lifespan is about 12 to 15 years.
- The electrical wiring on average lasts from 50 to 70 years depending on how the wiring was installed and the materials used. Homes built before 1970 are probably due for wiring updates. Modifications over the years can extend or shorten the life of the electrical system depending on the skill of the electrician. As always, the skill of the electrician and the quality of the wiring materials can extend the wiring lifespan by years.
- Plumbing, when installed correctly, using high-quality materials, can last from 40 to 100 years depending on the parts. Some parts will last longer than others. If lead pipes are part of the plumbing system, they should be replaced no matter how old they are because they can leach lead into drinking water, causing a health hazard. Plumbing fixtures such as toilets, sinks, tubs, and faucets can have a shorter lifespan.
Events That Affect Appliance and System Lifespans
These average lifespan times do not take into consideration certain events that can occur in and around a home. They also do not take into consideration homeowner misuse or neglect. These considerations might not be passed on to the home buyer.
If there is even a minor home fire it can affect all of the systems and appliances in a home, even those not directly damaged. If wiring was damaged by the fire itself or the water used to fight it, the electrical service can be damaged and not serve the appliances well, shortening their lifespans.
If there were bad storms that flooded the home or caused electrical interruption, surges, or lightning to strike the home, all systems and appliances could have been affected.
If a home was left vacant for a time without heat, the appliances and plumbing, and even the wiring could have been damaged. Rodents or certain insects can cause damage to the electrical system or appliances.
If you are purchasing an older home, or if you are living in a home that has had damaging events, plan on appliances and systems not lasting as long. Before buying an older home, have a home inspection to find what condition the home system and appliances are in before closing. If the home inspector finds evidence of past home damage or poorly maintained appliances, look for a different house or ask the seller to give you a discount based on the damage.
When purchasing an existing home with lack of information on the appliances or systems it is always a good idea to ask for or purchase a home warranty to cover all systems and appliances for at least one year if not longer. It is becoming a common practice for sellers or Realtors to give buyers home warranties as part of the home purchase.
In that first year, the home buyer can become familiar with the home and its appliances so they can guess what is nearing replacement and what will last several more years.