Signs It’s Time to Replace Appliances Around the Home

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Appliances don’t last forever. Knowing when to replace your appliances is an important part of homeownership. Recognizing the signs that an appliance is near the end of its service life can help you keep your house running smoothly, maintain property value and avoid emergency situations.


Most appliances have an expected service life, and once they’ve exceeded that service life, they’re more likely to stop functioning. Here’s how long you can expect some of your household appliances to function:

  • Air conditioner – 12 – 17 years
  • Refrigerator – 13 years
  • Washing machine – 10 years
  • Gas range oven – 15 years
  • Washing machine – 10 years
  • Dryer – 13 years
  • Furnace – 20 years

Of course, these are just estimates. Some appliances will last longer than others, depending on quality of the appliance and your appliance maintenance habits. Remember that some appliances will start to become energy hogs as they get older. Homeowners who take good care of their appliances and who get regular tune-ups from professionals can expect their appliances to last longer than if they did not maintain them at all.

Frequent Breakdowns

There’s only so much you can do with a good attitude and the right tools for the job. Frequent breakdowns are a sign that your appliance is nearing the end of its service life. As appliances get older, parts inside begin to deteriorate, causing frequent problems. If you find yourself calling for repair more than once every couple years, this is a sure sign that your appliance would benefit from replacement.

Remember that appliance repair costs can add up. Failure to replace your appliances when they begin to break down could lead to a higher cost over time than if you had simply replaced the appliance when the time came.

In some cases, it’s best to avoid any possibility of breakdown. For example, a typical water heater will last between 8 and 12 years. Many water heaters will function well for the majority of their service life, until the day they begin to leak water all over the floor. When this happens, the water heater can do hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage to the house. Replacing a water heater in anticipation of this event, even if the water heater itself seems to be functioning fine, is a smart choice.


As appliances age, they become increasingly inefficient. Older appliances will use more energy and will cost more money to run. As a homeowner, you’ll see the results of these inefficiencies in your utility bill. When appliances reach this age, it’s a good idea to purchase an efficient appliance that uses less power and fewer resources.

Selling Your Home Soon

If you’re thinking about selling your home soon, new appliances can help boost ROI, leading to bigger offers and a faster sale. When trying to decide which appliances to purchase, consider what new homeowners will want.

  • Energy efficient. Remember to look for energy efficient appliances. Buyers are looking for more ways to save, and showing them that their home will help them consume less energy is a great selling point.
  • Stainless steel. Stainless steel is the favored material for appliances in the kitchen. The most modern models often specify fingerprint resistance, an attractive feature for home buyers because they’re easier to keep clean.
  • Non-professional grade. Most home buyers are not willing to pay extra for expensive, high-end appliances. These appliances often have a lower ROI than other appliances, which makes them a less wise investment overall.