January 27, 2020

The Average Life Expectancy of Your Appliances

Whenever you are house shopping or house selling, one thing to consider is the age of the appliances in the home. Are they newer and still under warranty? Are they nearing the end of their days or even worse-living on borrowed time? Read on to discover the average life expectancy of your appliances and the approximate cost of replacement.

Stove and Oven

You can expect almost the same life span for your oven and stove no matter if they are gas or electric. Gas ranges have a slightly longer life of 15 years over an electric range’s life span of 13 years. Of course, this life expectancy is determined by how well you maintain it. You can find tips for maintaining your electric range here and tips for your gas range here. Your oven should be cleaned at least twice a year and you can take advantage of its self-cleaning feature!

Approximate replacement prices: $650 – $3,000.  A higher-priced range does not guarantee better cooking performance. If you choose a lower-priced model in an attempt to save money upfront, you may end up paying more in maintenance costs overall. Consumer Reports indicates that a range around the $1000 mark will most likely bring the best performance and features without breaking the bank.


Microwaves have a life expectancy of 9-10 years on average. There is not much maintenance other than keeping it clean and taking care to not damage the door.  Because of their technology, microwaves are fairly reliable.

Approximate replacement price: A countertop model can cost you as little as $50 while an over the range model can cost $800 plus. You may need to factor in the price of labor if you are not prepared to install it yourself.


Similar to microwaves, dishwashers have a shorter life span than some of our other appliances. Most dishwashers need to be replaced by the 9-year mark if not sooner.

Approximate replacement cost: When shopping for a new dishwasher, you can expect to pay at minimum $250 for a basic workable dishwasher. Most sales fall into the $400-$700 category but can go as high as $2,000 for a luxury machine.


You can expect your refrigerator to last about 13 years if maintained properly. Leaking seals on the doors that cause frost and temperature issues are the main repair issue that homeowners face. You need to vacuum the refrigerator coils at least once a year to clear dust and debris that can block the coils. The coils are responsible for cooling and condensing the refrigerant. When not functioning properly they can cause the fridge or freezer to fill with frost and ice and eventually break. If the seals on the doors are not tight, the warmer air entering can also cause the freezing up of the fridge and freezer. Be sure to check the seals every so often.

Approximate replacement price: Depending on the model of course you can expect to pay around $700 for a base model and up to $2100 for fancier styles.

Washing Machine and Dryer

The average life expectancy of a washing machine is 11 years. Due to advances is energy star ratings and water consumptions, replacing older machines that still run with no problems may save you money in the long run due to the energy efficiency in newer models. Keeping your washing machine clean and balanced will help add to its life.

Dryers tend to live a solid 13 years before breaking down. The best way to ensure your dryer lives its best and longest life is to clean the lint trap every time you use it and regularly do a deep cleaning of the lint inside the machine and surrounding it. You can find great tips on keeping your dryer in good shape here.

Approximate replacement price: Of course the cost to replace a washer or dryer depends on many factors. Washing machines cost between $250 and $2,050; dryers cost anywhere from $200 to $1,750. kitchens.com explains in detail the many options when choosing a new washer and dryer.

Water Heater

Traditional tank water heaters have a life span of around 10 years. Maintenance includes clearing dust and debris from around the tank and flushing it annually. Nobody wants to run out of hot water. Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular and although more expensive upfront, have a longer lifespan of more than 20 years.

Approximate replacement price: A traditional tank water heater can run anywhere from $400- $1000 plus. The national average replacement cost is $933.00. A tankless water heater costs between $1500-$2000 installed.


Your heating and air conditioning system life span is a little more difficult to calculate. With proper care, air conditioners should last at least 15 years and furnaces (including heat pumps) around 15 years also. The key to this is the maintenance! Filters must be replaced regularly, vents cleaned, and an annual inspection by professionals.

Approximate replacement price: Of course the size of your home plays a role in the size of the unit you need but you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,000 for a new air conditioning unit. A new furnace will cost approximately $2,000 and $6,000. 

Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is standard in most homes today. It uses a spinning force to break down food wastes as it flows down your sink. The average life span of a garbage disposal is 12 years with only normal wear and tear usage. Common problems are blades wearing down and non-food items falling down causing issues with the mechanics.

Approximate replacement cost: The cost to replace a garbage disposal is around $200-$400. If you are not prepared to install it yourself, you need to calculate the labor costs also.

The average life expectancy of your appliances depends largely on proper care and maintenance. Knowing when a replacement might be needed will help you budget and plan accordingly. Your realtor can help you find out the ages of the appliances in your prospective new home. There are so many things that make home buying stressful! Here at Method, we know you have so many things to consider during the home buying process. Our goal is to make your mortgage approval process as stress-free as possible! Contact us today to get started!