Appliances really don't last as long as they used to

Photo © Maksym Yemelyanov - Fotolia

It's not just your imagination; study confirms shorter lifespan

Appliances, it seems, used to last forever. Today not so much. It appears household appliances have a lifespan of about 10 years according to stats from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Whether an appliance will stand the test of time depends to a great extent on maintenance, use, quality of installation and climate conditions, according to a study from NAHB and Bank of America.

Longest-lasting was a gas range, listed by NAHB as lasting up to 15 years compared with 19 years in 1993. That new dryer you just bought, that most likely sold for about $1500 only has a span of around 13 years. The refrigerator that has the big double door with a water-saving feature, in essence the whole kitchen sink, is right alongside that 13 year mark.

Trash compactors were supposed to only last 6 years. They seem so 1980 any way. But your microwave and dishwasher should hold up about 9 years. Most appliances come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Longevity vs. energy

Longevity versus energy saving that perhaps is where the price point comes in. That 1950 Chevy won’t get the same gas mileage as a 2015 Chevy. Yes, washers used to be made to last for years upon years but they were heavy and used energy like crazy. Which in turn costs you a ton of money.

Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s appliance standards, manufacturers are developing new, more efficient appliances that are saving consumer’s money on their energy bills. Replacing an old fridge with a new one could save you on average $100 a year in energy bills.

If you would like to estimate how much life is left in one of your appliances, you can see when it was manufactured by locating the nameplate or model and serial numbers on the appliance itself. The nameplate may display the month and year that a product was manufactured while the model and serial numbers can also be used to call the manufacturer and request the information.

Read more about appliances.

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