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If you get 10 years out of a standard home appliance, you have come out ahead. As for your home systems, you can safely expect them to last about two decades. On average, here’s how long you can expect most of your major appliances and home systems to last — and when it’s time to replace them.

Typical Life Span of Appliances and Home Systems

Today’s appliances have a different life span than older appliances. Newer models are usually high-tech. Different construction means different pieces break and different repairs are needed. Sometimes tech-heavy items come with heavy maintenance costs, specifically because of the complexity of the technology. Other, older appliances might be so inefficient that replacing them will save you money in the long-run despite upfront costs.

Other factors that will affect the life span of your appliances include brand, wear and tear, costs for or availability of replacement parts, complexity of repairs, and the age of the machine or system.

Here is a breakdown of the average life spans of typical home appliances and systems:

  • Air conditioners: 8–15 years.
  • Refrigerators: 7–13 years.
  • Stoves and gas ranges: 8–15 years.
  • Washing machines and dryers: 5–15 years.
  • Dishwashers: 9–15 years.
  • Water heaters: 8–15 years.
  • HVAC systems: 10–30 years.

 

When Should You Replace an Appliance?

Some of your appliances become dangerous if they are not properly replaced. Keep these factors in mind when you start to consider replacing major appliances:

  • Replace your refrigerator if it’s old and inefficient or if it keeps breaking down again.
  • Gas stoves last longer than electric ones, but problems with either kind of stove should be fixed immediately — stoves present fire and electrocution hazards if they are not working properly.
  • Washers and dryers should be replaced if after eight years they are leaking, noisy, shaking, overfilling, or not cleaning and drying clothes properly.
  • If a repair is going to cost at least half what you would have to spend to buy the item brand-new, you should replace it.
  • If your warranty is expired and the appliance has almost lived to its life expectancy, replace it instead of repairing it.

Of course, if there are problems with any appliance that create a hazard, you should invest in a new one.