Appliance breakdowns can bring life to a screeching halt. Whether it happens during the holidays, in the summertime, or in the middle of an average week, appliance breakdowns are almost always expensive and inconvenient. Today, we’ll show you how long 4 important appliances last on average. We’ll also give you a tip or two on how to expand that appliance’s life.
1. Refrigerators last about 13 years
If you treat your refrigerator decently, you’ll likely get around 13 years out of it. “Treating it decently” means doing the following:
- Not overloading it
- Keeping internal vents clean and clear
- Making sure the door shuts tightly
Most people have no trouble treating their refrigerator decently. But how do you go the extra mile and maximize your fridge’s life span?
Tips for maximizing your fridge’s life span
To go the extra mile, consider these fairly simple steps for maximizing your fridge’s life span.
Clean the condenser coils. The condenser coils are what keep the fridge cool. They usually appear on the back or bottom of the fridge. If they’re on the bottom, they’re usually behind a removable grate.
To clean them, take three simple steps.
- Unplug your fridge and locate your coils.
- Use a coil-cleaning brush (available online or at your local hardware store) and/or vacuum to remove dust and grime. Be firm but careful. You want to remove grime without damaging the coils.
- Plug your fridge back in.
Clean the internal gaskets. The gasket is the rubber stripping on the inside of the fridge door. When dirty, it can prevent the door from sealing properly. Sticky residue can also glue the gasket shut, which could lead to damage if you try to force it open.
Simply take a warm, wet cloth and wipe your gaskets down once a week.
2. Dishwashers last about 9 years
Dishwashers tend to have relatively short life spans. Like refrigerators, it’s important to avoid overloading.
Tips for maximizing your dishwasher’s life span
In addition to knowing how to address common clog causes, there are two things you can do to help lengthen your dishwasher’s life span.
Clean the filter. Usually, you can find your filter at the bottom of your dishwasher, under the rack. It typically looks like a cylinder and screws out.
To remove it, screw it out.
To clean it, use an old toothbrush to scrape away food and other gunk. Run it under water, then screw it back in.
Only wash dishes. Some people use their dishwasher to wash things like car parts. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: Only use the dishwasher to wash dishes.
Things like car parts have different kinds of grime and filth that dishwashers can’t handle properly. To get the most out of your dishwasher, don’t be creative.
3. Dryers last about 10–13 years
Dryers can be finicky. But with basic maintenance, such as the following, you should expect to get a decade or more out of a dryer.
- Clean the lint trap after every load
- Only throw clean clothes in it (wet but dirty towels should be washed first)
Tips for maximizing your dryer’s life span
On top of basic maintenance, you can take a few extra steps to help get the most out of your dryer.
Clean the dryer vent once a year. This is different from the lint trap. Your dryer vent usually lives behind the dryer and connects to an exhaust pipe in the wall.
To clean it, follow these instructions.
- Unplug the dryer and move away from the wall
- Disconnect the vent duct from the wall and from the dryer
- Vacuum the inside of the vent duct
- Reconnect the vent duct to the dryer and the wall
- Plug your dryer back in
Clean the dryer drum. Using some rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth, gently wipe down the dryer drum. This prevents lint buildup, which can start fires. Do this every month or so.
4. Tank water heaters last about 11 years
Tank water heaters can run for about a decade with few or no problems. However, to get the most out of your water heater, you should drain it once a year. Check out our comprehensive, step-by-step guide for draining a tank water heater.
Give yourself a break with a Home Warranty Service Agreement
Maintenance is the key to maximizing appliance life span. But even with proper maintenance, your home’s systems and appliances will likely break down someday. A Home Warranty Service Agreement from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) can be your safety net against unexpected breakdowns.
2-10 HBW can help you cover all of the items above (and more) against unexpected breakdowns caused by routine use. With a Home Warranty Service Agreement, you can pay a fraction of the out-of-pocket cost to address a covered breakdown.
A Home Warranty Service Agreement can also plug you into a network of local, independent, approved contractors, which can give you peace of mind.
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive home warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.