The Lifespan of Appliances & the Best Time to Buy New Ones

Appliances are the unsung heroes of the home, quietly going about their business, making our lives easier without requiring much attention. But when they malfunction, we realize just how critical they are. 

If you’re in the market to replace these workhorses, you may want to consider the time of year as sales typically occur at different periods. Naturally, consumers think of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as prominent days when deep discounts occur. But you can get great deals throughout the year, too. 

Take a look at the lifespan of appliances and the best time of year to replace them. 

Refrigerators: Depending on the model and size, the average life expectancy for a properly maintained refrigerator is between 14 and 17 years. Certain practices can keep this appliance in top shape. For example, place the unit out of direct sunlight and away from other heat-producing appliances. Keeping the unit a few inches away from the wall and ensuring that the coils on the back of the fridge are clean and free from dust will help it run efficiently. Manufacturers typically introduce new models in the spring, which means you may be able to secure a good deal on last year’s model in April or May.

Dishwashers: This kitchen helpmate is one you don’t want to do without, especially around the holidays. While these appliances typically last 10-13 years, you can help extend their lifespan by taking certain steps. Start by scraping any food scraps into the garbage prior to loading to prevent clogs. Don’t block the spray arm by overloading your washer. Also, make sure to clean the holes in the spray arm with a toothpick when necessary. Only running the unit when it’s full will help it last as long as possible. September and October are good times to replace your dishwasher as units may be discounted to make room for newer models which hit the market during winter months.

Stove: With a life expectancy average of 15 years, gas ranges are one of the longest running of most major appliances. To extend the lifespan of your oven, be sure to clean it regularly and replace the oven door seal as necessary. To ensure space for new models arriving in the new year, retailers often mark down stove in September and October. 

Furnaces:  While some furnaces might last over 40 years, the average lifespan is 15-30 years. With scheduled yearly furnace maintenance, your furnace should last for at least 15-20 years. To increase its longevity, keep an eye on moisture levels as too much humidity can cause the heater to rust and breakdown. Proper ventilation is critical as well. Spring is typically the best time to purchase a new furnace because consumers are focused on summer, making these items less popular. Because technicians receive fewer calls during the warm weather months, you may get a break on installation costs as well.

Hot water heater: As a general rule, a hot water heater will last, on average, 8 to 12 years. Extend the life of yours by draining it twice a year to remove the collected sediment that causes corrosion. This will increase efficiency as well. Look for sales during the summer, particularly around July 4th.

It goes without saying that the best time to replace your appliances is before they break as that saves you from the inconvenience of dealing with a non-working unit and the cost of buying one that isn’t on sale.