Is Your Appliance on Life Support?

My husband and I purchased our condo in paradise just over ten years ago. Other than our dishwasher, we have been lucky: most of our appliances have held out. So how long do appliances last these days? To find out, I did some research on their average life expectancy.

Regardless of how you much you pay for an appliance, research shows that price does not seem to impact average life expectancy significantly. What does factor in is how much you use it and how well you maintain it. Sadly, as we have become a more disposable society, appliances are not built today like they used to be. What used to last twenty or thirty years will presently last about ten.

Surprising to me, the item that has the least life expectancy is usually the microwave. It tends to give up the ghost between years four and 10. Here is a quick test to see if yours is functioning well. Put an eight-ounce cup of water on high for three minutes. The water should boil after three minutes. If it doesn’t, it’s probably time for a new one. After ten years, you are probably better off financially purchasing a new one than having yours serviced.

Washers/dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers typically last ten to thirteen years. According to the stats, top-loading washers tend to last a bit longer than front loaders. I am a big believer in buying a separate washer and dryer, rather than a stackable. If one part of the stackable goes, you are stuck having to replace both. You can get full front-loading washers and dryers that can be stacked to save space. To get the most life from your machine, remember to occasionally clean with bleach to get rid of odors and hard water build up, and vinegar to get rid of suds. The best thing you can do for your dryer (and your safety) is to always clean out the dryer lint from the lint trap and the vent hose.

Do you clean the dust off the condenser coils of your fridge once or twice a year? I don’t, but now I plan to do it first thing tomorrow. I suspect this won’t give our fridge much more life, but every extra week is a bonus. Fridges generally last ten to thirteen years. Refrigerators with one door for cooling and one for freezing last around 14 years. Fridges with top or bottom-door freezers last about 17 years. One-door fridges last about 19 years.

Dishwashers also last about a decade. The best advice to keep a dishwasher operating at its best is to run it frequently. Doing this keeps the rubber from drying out and mold and mildew from appearing.
Gas stoves and ovens generally last from fifteen to eighteen years. Remember to clean your burner ports regularly with a straight pin, so you can remove any clogs.

Need to replace an appliance soon? Join our “Vallarta Bulk Buyers Group” for deals! Email me at furniture@solutionsmexico.com for more information.

Sheryl Novak
Sheryl Novak is an expat Canadian who has owned a home in Mexico for over ten years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico – the online furniture store for your home in Mexico and The Furniture Store by SOLutions Mexico, a brick and mortar show store in Bucerias. She is considered the expert on sourcing all styles of furniture for all sizes of budgets, in Mexico.