How Long Do Appliances Last? Appliance Life Expectancy Chart Of 35 Essential Home Components

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Buying a home or property is an investment and life goal for many people. However, your dream home (or rental property) often comes with a list of components and appliances that may be old or not fully functioning. For this reason, it’s vital to understand component life spans in order to budget for the future.

We compiled lists of essential home features and their expected life spans, along with care tips, to ensure you get the best return on your investment. Use the links below to jump to what you’re looking for.

Please note that these life spans are estimates (from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) and vary due to how well it’s taken care of, materials used, outdoor elements, temperature, humidity, the manufacturer and more. These are for educational purposes only and are not guarantees of how long your items will last or how much it will cost to replace them.

 

Exterior Component Life Spans

exterior components life expectancy

Your home’s integrity is only as good as the foundation it sits on and the roof that protects you from the elements. The upkeep of your exterior is something that you need to keep a close eye on to ensure that a small problem doesn’t turn into something more serious and costly.

 

Deck

        • Life span: 8 – 30 years
        • Replacement cost: $25 per square foot

Composite decks can last from 8 years up to 25 years, while structural wood ranges from 10 – 30 years. Wooden decks will usually need to be resealed after 1 – 3 years and may need to be sanded if the wood gets rough.

 

Driveway (Asphalt)

        • Life span: 15 – 20 years
        • Replacement cost: $3.50 – $4.50 per square foot

Weather will have a big impact on how long a driveway will last. Using different materials like brick or cobblestone will affect the life span, too. You can make longer use of your driveway by sealing it.

 

Fencing (Wood)

        • Life span: 20 years
        • Replacement cost: $5 – $25 per foot

While wood fences only last about 20 years, polyvinyl fencing can last upwards of 100 years. To protect your wood fence, make sure you seal the materials and keep plants with large root systems away. 

 

Garage Door

Garage doors can malfunction if the springs start to rust, so make sure you lubricate the springs about twice a year. The garage openers don’t last as long as the door itself; expect a 10 – 15-year life.

 

Patio (Concrete)

        • Life span: 15 – 25 years
        • Replacement cost: $5 per square foot

Concrete patios also benefit from being sealed or stained. Gravel is a more affordable option – custom concrete patterns add a special touch, but are more expensive depending on the complexity.

 

Roofing

        • Life span: 20 –100+ years
        • Replacement cost: $400 – $550 per square foot

Climate and weather have a huge impact on roofing. Houses located in areas of extreme heat and weather conditions (tornadoes, hail, hurricanes) can expect shorter life spans. In addition to making roofing repairs as needed, don’t forget to clean the gutters.

 

Siding

        • Life span: 25 – 60+ years
        • Replacement cost: $0.70 – $5.25 per square foot

Try to power-wash your siding if you notice accumulated dirt, as siding can develop mold or mildew if left dirty. It’s also important to check for signs of termites. If you suspect they’ve invaded, get a professional opinion right away.

 

Windows

Vinyl or fiberglass windows can be expected to last 20 – 40 years. Double-pane and skylights have lower life expectancies at 8 – 20 and 10 – 20 years, respectively.

 

Life Spans Of Interior Components 

interior components life expectancy

These components can be found all over your home, including storage, fixtures and flooring. Flooring makes a big difference in the overall look of your space, so make sure you keep yours in tip-top shape. 

 

Cabinets

        • Life span: 50 years
        • Replacement cost: $500 –$1,200 per linear foot

Cabinets are most commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, so humidity can play a big factor in deterioration. To combat this, make sure your space is well-ventilated. Trends change often, but luckily there are many ways to give cabinets a facelift (with paint, contact paper, sanding and restaining, etc.).  

 

Carpet

        • Life span: 8 – 10 years
        • Replacement cost: $7 – $12 per square foot

Carpet life spans vary by material and foot traffic. Make sure you clean up stains promptly and steam clean it every 12 – 18 months. If you have kids or pets, consider getting a more durable carpet.

 

Countertops

        • Life span: 20 – 100+ years
        • Replacement cost: $40 – $100 per square foot

Granite countertops can go for as much as $250 per square foot. Different materials have different prices and different care requirements. Look for a nonporous, low-maintenance countertop if you want easier cleanup and upkeep.

 

Faucets And Water Fixtures

A new faucet feature can completely elevate a bathroom or kitchen. It’s a simple but effective way to change the look of your space. Note that the professional removal of an old faucet could result in additional fees. Clean off dirt and grime often so the fixtures don’t corrode. 

 

Gas Fireplace

Fireplaces fortified from masonry last over 100 years. Gas fireplace replacement costs vary by how many components need to be replaced, including the gas line, fixtures, ventilation and wiring, plus installation costs.   

 

Hardwood

        • Life span: 100+ years
        • Replacement cost: $6 – $22 per square foot

All wood floors will last you a lifetime if you stay up to date with cleaning and maintenance. Wood floor care includes reapplying the finish every 3 – 5 years and using wood floor cleaner monthly, along with weekly sweeping.

 

Home Safety Component Life Spans

safety components life expectancy

These components play a crucial role in the safety of your family. It’s better to err on the side of caution and check on these components more than is recommended.

 

Alarm Systems

        • Life span: 20 years
        • Replacement cost: $100 – $250 for equipment 

Note that some services also require monthly fees. If installed properly, alarm and security systems should last up to 20 years. If you use a digital key or the code to unlock your home, it’s a good practice to change the keypad code every year or as needed. Since technology is always changing, you may want to upgrade your system earlier than that to keep up with tech trends and innovations.

 

Carbon Monoxide Detector

        • Life span: 1 – 5 years (batteries: 1 year)
        • Replacement cost: $20

It’s crucial that you replace the carbon monoxide alarm batteries at least every year. The alarm itself lasts longer but should be replaced promptly when it does die. Don’t take any chances with deadly gas leaks

 

Electrical Outlets

Outlets can fail earlier (as early as 5 years) if they were installed incorrectly. If you’re purchasing a new home, it’s important to have the electrical integrity examined by a professional, since the price to rewire can be costly and may require partial wall demolition.  

 

Smoke Alarms

        • Life span: 10 years
        • Replacement cost: $10 – $20

Make sure to test your smoke alarms monthly. If you hear the repetitive beeping that indicates a low battery, replace the batteries promptly. This is such a small component, but it makes a huge difference in home safety.

 

Kitchen Appliance Life Spans

kitchen components life expectancy

The average kitchen remodel costs $16,600, a large portion of which goes to appliances. It’s important to pay attention to your appliances’ maintenance needs to ensure you get the most out of your investment.   

 

Dishwasher

You can extend the life of your dishwasher and improve its efficiency by keeping the water spraying arms and debris tray clear from build-up and dried-on soap. Depending on how often you use your dishwasher, clean off its internal components every couple of months.

 

Microwave

If you want a professional-grade microwave or one built into your cabinetry, it could cost up to $2,000, but there are a bunch of affordable options if you opt for the counter-top variety. The best thing you can do to protect your microwave is to use a surge protector and follow the user instructions (such as respecting weight limits and not microwaving metal components). 

 

Freezer

        • Life span: 10 – 20 years
        • Replacement cost: $150–$500

Before replacing a malfunctioning freezer, see if its issues can be repaired. If your deep freezer doesn’t have an automatic defrost option, perform a manual defrost, but do not scrape ice from the inner walls of the freezer as you could cause damage to the interior. 

 

Oven (Gas)

You should give your oven a proper cleaning about twice a year. If you use the self-cleaning function, allow the oven to cool for about 6 hours before wiping down the interior. If you’re cleaning it by hand with water, make sure to unplug the oven to lessen the risk of electrocution.

 

Refrigerator

        • Life span: 9 – 13 years
        • Replacement cost: $350 – $2,100

These days, most refrigerators come with a lot of additional features and functions, so it’s imperative to pay close attention to your user’s manual to keep everything running smoothly. Malfunctioning refrigerators are worth trying to fix before purchasing a new one, as repairs could cost as little as $85, but a replacement could run you at least four times as much.

 

Toaster Oven

        • Life span: 5 years
        • Replacement cost: $30 – $200

A toaster oven has a fairly short average life span. Extend its life span by following the appliance’s specified capacity – also make sure you clean the appliance well and remove crumbs and burnt dreck.

Laundry and Bathroom Component Life Spans

bathroom components life expectancy

The average bathroom remodel costs $9,600 – $11,000, but you can save a lot by refurbishing existing cabinetry and other bathroom components. Without proper care and attention, bathroom elements can wear down prematurely and require replacement before their time. 

 

Bathtub/Shower (Fiberglass)

A tub on its own may only cost about $200 – $500 (without installation), but if you’re looking for the complete shower door and surround you should expect to pay a few thousand dollars. Unlike their fiberglass counterparts, cast iron tubs last 100+ years – try refurbishing and refinishing a vintage tub for a unique and eco-friendly bathroom piece. 

 

Dryer

It’s essential for fire prevention and the longevity of your dryer that you clean out the lint filter after every load. It’s also important to keep the area around the dryer clean and watch for a wobbling machine, as this means the base may need to be adjusted.

 

Showerhead

If cared for properly, your shower head should last a lifetime. Make sure you clean the showerhead and the waterspouts thoroughly so that minerals and deposits don’t build up and clog it.

 

Toilet

While toilets, urinals and bidets have a very long lifetime, the toilet tank components may only last about 5 years. Many new models of toilets have environmentally-conscious features like water-saving flush levels and composting capabilities, so an upgrade may be worth your while. 

 

Washing Machine

Though counterintuitive, washing machine interiors should be washed, too. Sears Home Services recommends running an empty load with 2 cups of white vinegar and half a cup of detergent. Leave the door open after loads and inspect the washing machine elements to reduce mildew buildup.

 

HVAC Life Span

HVAC components life expectancy

Behind-the-scenes components like heating and cooling can often be overlooked. To make sure you don’t get caught in extreme weather with a malfunctioning HVAC, it’s best to check on these items before hot or cold seasons kick in.

 

Air Conditioner (Central)

        • Life span: 7 – 15 years
        • Replacement cost: $3,000 – $7,000

It only takes about half a day to clean out and tweak your AC – perform maintenance before summer so you don’t get stuck in the heat without it. Not only will maintenance help you save on energy costs, it will also prolong the life of your unit.

 

Boiler

You should arrange a professional maintenance and cleaning appointment for your boiler about once a year to ensure optimal performance. Energy-efficient boilers have more upfront cost but can save you 19 – 21% in the long run.

 

Ceiling Fan

The most important part of ceiling fan safety is the installation. Always call in a professional to properly install your fan. Aside from cleaning and oiling your fan, keep an eye out for wobbling, this could indicate that the fan needs to be balanced or has a broken blade.

 

Furnace

It’s recommended that you have your furnace serviced every fall and spring. But in order to help your furnace run smoothly, it’s crucial to replace your filter every 6 – 12 months (depending on use and filter thickness). 

 

Thermostat

The thermostat component can last over 35 years, but will likely be replaced before then due to advancements in technology or wiring failures. To save energy and money, set your thermostat to planned temperature intervals.

 

Tips To Prolong The Longevity Of Your Appliances

eco-friendly tips to prolong appliances

When remodeling your home, it’s important to take your environmental impact into account. Anywhere that you can reduce and reuse can make a big difference. Not only is reusing, upcycling and refurbishing energy-efficient, it’s also cost-effective. There are many ways to update existing furniture and components. See a couple of suggestions below:

 

Invest in energy-efficient appliances 

Make sure to look for an Energy Star seal and do your research before purchasing to ensure that you’re selecting an appliance with the capacities that are fit for your needs. Some Energy Star appliances are more expensive up front, but the overall savings can be tremendous.

 

Buy used or refurbished items 

Not only does thrifting save you money, but it also lessens your environmental impact. If purchasing a secondhand appliance, make sure it’s certified as refurbished by a professional. 

 

Follow the manual advice 

It’s important to take a look at the manual and make a note of care recommendations. To make sure that maintenance doesn’t fall by the wayside, set reminders in your calendar for professional check-ins. 

 

Address issues swiftly 

If you suspect there’s a problem with a household appliance, make sure you get it checked out right away. If left unattended, a small issue could devolve into something bigger and ruin the item prematurely.

 

Try to repair items 

Before tossing an item, call in an expert to assess the damage and make necessary repairs. If the damage is minor, you may be able to make small repairs on your own, but it’s best to leave it to the pros. 

 

Refinish tired-looking items 

Maybe your item still functions, but its look is lackluster. It’s easy to give your home components a quick facelift by using paint, contact paper or new stain color.

 

Donate gently used components 

If you’re taking on renovations or moving to a new home, donate used (but functioning) items to charity. Alternatively, if you’re looking for ways to fund your new home or renovations, you could always try to sell them.

 

Repurpose defunct items 

Items that are beyond repair can be transformed or “upcycled” into art, storage, plant beds or seating. For example, many people are giving old rusted bathtubs a new life by turning them into fun and unique planters.

 

Recycle responsibly 

If none of the above suggestions are possible to implement and you have to dispose of your appliances, make sure you do it responsibly. Check out Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) suggestions and check in with your local recycling center for best practices. 

 

Click the button below for a condensed version of the life spans, replacement cost information and eco-friendly tips.

download infographic

 

Appliance Life Expectancy Chart

See the chart below for a brief breakdown of all the components covered above. Print it, save it as an aid when remodeling or keep it with your appliance manuals.

appliance life expectancy chart and replacement costs

With so many home components to keep track of, it’s important to stay organized. Use this printable chart to keep track of them and when they may need to be replaced. It’s a good practice to keep this log in a binder or digital folder along with your receipts and warranties. Click the button below for a colored chart and click here for a black-and-white version.

 

download printables

 

If you want to make the most out of your home investment, it’s imperative to stay up to date with maintenance and repairs. It’s also better to handle problems right as they arise so you don’t end up with a bunch of items on your to-do list at once. That way, when you’re ready to sell your home, your property will be market-ready.