5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Appliances

washer

Appliances are expensive and knowing how long they last can help plan for the unexpected expense of replacing them and making sure you get your money’s worth. More expensive appliances don’t necessarily last longer than their cheaper ones, but different features can affect the lifespan of your appliances. Here’s a list of the average life expectancy of your appliances. However, please note that this list is meant as an estimate and is comprised of a variety of sources including consumer resources, manufacturer websites, and our own observations.

  • Dishwasher: 9-10 years
  • Refrigerator: 14-17 years
  • Garbage disposal: 10-12 years
  • Humidifier: 8 years
  • Washer: 10-14 years
  • Dryer: 10-13 years
  • Water Heater (gas): 11-13 years
  • Water Heater (electric): 13-14 years
  • Water Heater (tankless or on demand): 20+ years

How to make your appliances last longer

There is no magical solution to get the most out of your appliances, but there are some regular maintenance and daily operation tips that can help to extend their lives:

Garbage disposals

Sharpen the blades monthly and don’t pour grease oils down the drain.

The biggest effect on a garbage disposal’s life is how often it is used. A bachelor who doesn’t keep the fridge stocked will not wear out their disposal as fast as a family of 5 that cooks dinner every night. Having said that, use a strainer, avoid pouring grease and oils down the drain, and always running the water when the disposal is in use. Sharpening the blades by putting ice in your sink drain will also help it last longer. We recommend doing this once a month.

Washers

Don’t overload your washer and replace the hoses every 5 years.

Contrary to what many people think, top loading and front loading doesn’t have much of an impact on the life of your washer. Front loaders can suffer from leaky door gaskets and top loaders can have issues with rust and humidity. Replacing the washer hoses every 5 years can help to ensure their optimal performance. Make sure not to overload your washing machine with clothes. Overloading your washer adds wear and tear to the motor and can cause damage and sometimes leaks.

Dryers

Clean the lint ducts, exit vents, and moisture sensor once a year.

You know to clean the lint trap, but it’s important to also clean the lint in the ducts and around the exit vents. It doesn’t hurt to clean the moisture sensor in your dryer to remove dust and particles from dryer sheets if you use them.

Water heaters

Drain your water heater at least once a year.

The water source can impact your water heater’s efficiency and lifespan. Hard water has an abundance of calcium, lime and other minerals that can accumulate inside the tank and strain the water heater. Those with well water have a similar problem with sediment and sand build up within the tank. Drain a few gallons out of your water heater at least once a year using the drain valve. Use either a 5-gallon bucket or a garden hose and run it to a place where the hot water will not cause damage. This will help get rid of sediments that settle at the bottom of your tank.

Refrigerator

Clean the coils twice a year.

The condenser coils, located at the back or beneath the unit, are responsible for removing heat from refrigerators and freezers. When dust and dirt cling to the coils, the refrigerator has a harder time removing heat. The result is increased energy consumption. This is especially important if you have pets. Make sure to clean your refrigerator coils twice per year to optimize it’s efficiency.

If you have an appliance leaking water, turn off the water valve connected to the appliance immediately and call us at 804-794-0918 for emergency service!