The appliances you buy today are more efficient, harder working, quieter, and have many more features than their older counterparts. These efficiencies and features also come with a cost, however: appliances don’t last like they used to.
So how long should your appliances and home systems last? Well, first consider that different brands (like cars) are more reliable than others. Then factor in how often you use them. A stove that you use only to boil water or for holidays is likely to last longer than one working every day to feed a large family.
That said, regular maintenance and care of appliances and systems can also help extend their life. And for those times when things fail unexpectedly, a home warranty can help protect your budget from costly repair or replacement.
Average Life of Home Appliances and Systems
Here are some of the most used home appliances, how long they can typically last, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and what you can do to help them last longer.
|Average life in years*||Average replacement cost**||Average repair costs**|
|Water Heater (Tank)|
|Water Heater (Tank)||10||$2,051||$1,388|
|Central Air Conditioning|
|Central Air Conditioning||15||$3,842||$915|
Your refrigerator is one of the most expensive, hardest working, and often-underappreciated appliances in your home. Some types and brands of refrigerators may last only about 10 years, while others can run for 15 years or more. Cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser coils can help your fridge run more efficiently.
Did you know that while people love icemakers, this is the feature most likely to break in a refrigerator? In fact, refrigerators with icemakers are twice as likely to break down.
Your oven is typically one of the longest-lasting appliances in your kitchen. A gas oven or range will generally last about 15 years, while an electric one will last a few years less. Regular checks and simple maintenance can keep your oven looking and working its best.
Expect to get about 9 years out of your dishwasher. How to extend its life? Remove food scraps, plastic bits, bones, or anything else that could clog the filter or drain lines. Regularly keep the filter clean. Wait to run full loads instead of more frequent smaller loads.
Washer and Dryer
You should expect to get about 10 years out of your washer and a few more years than that out of your dryer. You can definitely help extend the life of your washer by keeping your machine balanced, avoiding overloading, and making sure you use the right type and amount of detergent (more is not better). For your dryer, clean the lint filter after every use, and clean dryer ducts annually.
Tankless water heaters last more than 20 years, while an electric or gas tank water heater has a life expectancy of about 10 years. Most manufacturers recommend regular maintenance, including flushing gas or electric water heaters to help it last and work its best.
Central Heating and Air Conditioning
Central heating and air conditioner systems generally last between 15-20 years. Proper maintenance and changing air filters regularly can help keep your HVAC system running smoothly for as long as possible.
Protect Your Budget with a Home Warranty
When you buy a home, you don’t always know how old your appliances are, or how well they’ve been maintained. A home warranty can protect your budget from unexpected repair or replacement costs.
*Average life data from National Association of Home Builders / Bank of America Home Equity, “Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components”
**Based on actual invoices paid by First American in 2022 prior to service fees, deductions and/or rebates; costs may vary in your geographic region. Items listed may be optional or not available on some plans; please review the sample contract for specific coverage, terms and limitations.