top of page

How Long Do Your Appliances Last? A Guide to Lifespan Expectancy

Want to know when your refrigerator or washing machine is going to give out? Or when your dishwasher just can’t be saved?

The life expectancy of a typical appliance depends to a great extent on the use it receives. Moreover, appliances are often replaced long before they are worn out because of changes in styling, technology, and consumer preferences that make newer products more desirable.

Appliance Service Lives Vary

The thermostat is the longest-lasting home appliance. It does its job for 35 years, on average, while the furnace it controls usually needs replacing after 15 or 20 years, depending on the fuel it uses. Gas appliances tend to last longer than electric ones. Here is a complete list, according to, of life expectancy for most appliances:


Life Expectancy

Air Conditioners (room)


Air Conditioners (central)


​Boilers (electric)


Boilers (gas)








Dryers (electric and gas)




Furnaces (electric warm air)


Furnaces (gas warm air)


Furnaces (oil warm air)


Garbage Disposals


Garbage Disposals


Microwave Ovens


Range/Ovens Hoods


Ranges (electric)


Ranges (gas)




Refrigerators (compact)




Washing Machines


Water Heaters (electric)


Water Heaters (gas)


Water Heaters (tankless)


Tips to Extend The Life of Home Appliances

The best way to help your appliance age well and have a long, healthy life is to perform regular maintenance and have it checked periodically by an appliance repair expert.

Angie’s List advises on some useful tips to extend the life of home appliances. Here are some of their suggestions (keep in mind – a lot of these tips are also common sense!):

  1. Keep your fridge and freezer clean. In general, appliances operate best when spick-and-span. Besides regularly cleaning up leftovers in the fridge, keep condenser coils clean. To clean the freezer, unplug it, remove all food, wipe it down with a baking-soda solution, use water to rinse, and then dry the freezer with a towel before plugging it back in.

  2. Defrost your freezer. Many freezers today are frost-free. However, if you have a manual defrost freezer, plan to defrost it at least once every year, before frost gets to about a half-inch thick.

  3. Scrub your oven and range, too. Clean inside your oven often and never let food debris stick around on burners, even if it requires a bit of elbow grease to remove. Don’t spray cleaning fluid directly on control panels though, which could cause them to short circuit. Instead, apply a little onto a rag to clean that surface.

  4. Don’t foil your oven. Experts debate whether you should use the self-cleaning feature if your oven comes with one, but they agree you shouldn’t use aluminum foil under the baking element.

  5. Replace filters. Whether it’s a charcoal filter in an oven, a filter in some dishwashers or refrigerators or one in your furnace, follow manufacturer guidelines to clean and/or replace them as directed.

  6. Don’t use dish soap in the dishwasher. This can hamper the machine’s performance with gunky buildup. Only use dishwasher detergent.

  7. Scrape off plates. Food debris can clog dishwasher pumps. It could also potentially stop up the spray arms and, in the case of emptying the water out, it could possibly make the pump fail prematurely.

  8. Don’t overload your clothes in the washing machine. Doing so adds strain on the motor, tub bearings, and other parts, besides not getting your clothes clean if water and detergent can’t swish between them. You could shorten the life of the machine.

  9. Improve your dryer’s circulation. Often forgotten, the lint screen needs to be cleaned regularly. Failing to do so or allowing your dryer vent to become clogged will force your dryer to work overtime and also present a serious fire hazard.

Beating the Odds

Nothing is perfect. The average dishwasher, refrigerator, washer, and dryer are full of small parts that may fail at any time, and some of them inevitably do. Whether or not a part failure leads to a chain reaction that necessitates replacement of the appliance is partly a matter of luck. You can minimize the luck factor by good shopping and maintenance practices.

Go With Reliable Brands

A little research can help you get the best value when you’re buying appliances. Sherman’s Warehouse Clearance Center offers a large array of high-quality brand appliances that are reliable and efficient. Our Sales Professionals are also on hand and able to help make recommendations for the appliances you are looking for – whether you are replacing, upgrading, or merely shopping around.

Didn’t find the answer to your question or looking for more information? Send us a message or check out some of our other blog posts:


bottom of page