Super Quick Guide to Knowing When to Replace Your Household Appliances

an open dishwasher loaded with dishes

Reading time: 4 minutes

Your home is similar to the ship of Theseus. You’re going to replace many of your home’s appliances and structures during your time there, especially if you live in a home for more than a decade. (The current median duration in a home is 13 years.)

Of course, any ship – or home – needs to be safe for its mates, so we put together this quick schedule to help you know when to replace your household appliances! 

Answered: When to replace your household appliances

a maintenance worker fixes a homeowner's dishwasher as she watches
Should you repair or replace?

Before we say the average lifespans, you want to know when you should replace your appliances. We’ve answered your FAQ below!

How do I decide to replace or repair my home appliances? The rule of thumb is when the cost to repair is more than the cost to replace. Of course, you may never repair small appliances whereas your large appliances may get a few updates before you replace them completely.

Do new appliances add value to your house? Home buyers want modern appliances in their kitchens, but it’s super important that your appliances are in good-working order and clean. If you have the budget for a kitchen remodel or to replace all your old models with stainless steel appliances, go for it! It might help to bump up a potential buyer’s offer.

Should I replace appliances before they die? The answer is simple – stay safe. If your microwave is sparking or your gas oven is smelling (get out of the house and call 9-1-1!), you should definitely stop using that appliance. However, if it’s getting older and still working, you might choose to endure higher energy bills or some minor inconvenience when your appliance does eventually stop working.

Hot water heater – 8 to 12 years

a utility closet with a hot water heater
Don’t lose your hot water.

If you want your water heater to last longer, make sure to flush it once a year and have a professional check the anode rod every two years. (The anode rod attracts minerals in hard water and helps to prevent your unit from rusting!)

Get a step-by-step guide to flushing your hot water heater in our vipTIPs, expert-backed tips available exclusively to vipHomeLink members. Sign up today with a free trial and get home maintenance reminders and home improvement recommendations sent to your phone! 

Kitchen appliances update

a smart refrigerator sits in the corner of an affluent kitchen
Do your appliances need an upgrade?

Unfortunately, kitchen appliances need to be replaced frequently. Here’s a quick to help you know when to replace these household appliances:

  • Microwaves – 7 to 10 years
  • Garbage disposals – 10 to 12 years
  • Refrigerators – 10 to 12 years
  • Dishwashers – 10 to 13 years
  • Ranges (stoves and ovens) – 10 to 14 years

When looking to buy a new appliance, make sure to get an ENERGY STAR-certified model. An ENERGY STAR appliance is more energy efficient, which can help save you money on your utility bills and reduce carbon emissions. 

Washing machine and dryer – 10 to 13 years

Laundry room interior with washing machine near wall
Enjoy clean clothes with a new washer.

While you need to replace your washer and dryer eventually, you can prolong the lifespan of washer by using the right amount of detergent (too much can increase wear and tear), not overloading the machine, and cleaning the lint filter. (Yes, your washer has one of these, too!)

You can increase the lifespan of your dryer by cleaning the lint trap between each use and cleaning the dryer vent once or twice a year (depending on how frequently you use it). Completing these tasks can also help to prevent a home fire!

HVAC System – 10 to 20 years

a HVAC unit outside a home on a concrete slab
Keep cool and stay warm by replacing your HVAC when needed.

Most HVAC units can last 20 years, though after 10 years, they’re not as energy efficient as newer models. According to the Department of Energy, homeowners can save up to 40 percent on cooling costs by replacing older model HVAC units with new ones. Combined with changing air filters when necessary (generally every three months) and getting the unit serviced every spring and fall, you can make sure your HVAC unit is running smoothly, saving you money on your energy bills!

Garage door opener – 15 years

a garage repair person works on the mechanism
Hire a professional to replace your garage opener.

Your garage door opener can last upwards of 15 years, but most need to be replaced around or before this time. You can lengthen the opener’s lifespan with these garage door maintenance tips, but as we recommended before, it’s best to leave garage door maintenance to the pros. (Find one now!)

Water softener system – 15 to 20 years

Hard water can cause a multitude of problems – from shortening the lifespan of your appliances to clogging your hot water heater with minerals, to making your water taste funky. The best thing you can do for your home is to keep your hard water at bay with a new water softener system. This will keep hard water from hitting your appliances and causing damage that will require additional replacements.

How to recycle old appliances

an older range with a metal pot on one of burners
It may be time to replace your appliances.

Want to save the planet? When it’s time to replace your household appliances, contact your local waste management department. They’ll be able to direct you to an appliance recycling program in your area or may come to pick up your large appliances themselves.

Don’t forget to check your utility provider. Some offer incentives for recycling your appliances with them, such as $50 off your bill. 

Stay on top of home maintenance 

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vipHomeLink can help!

We know how difficult it is to know what to do and when to do it around the home. That’s why we created our home management app, which provides homeowners with personalized reminders for home tasks. From changing batteries in smoke detectors to vacuuming your dryer vent, we’ve got you covered.

Save money and time, and gain peace of mind with vipHomeLink! Not a member? Subscribe today with a monthly or annual membership.

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