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Make Your Household Appliances Last Longer With These 5 Tips

Stainless steel stove with wood floors and teal painted wall
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Household appliances are an investment, so you want them to last a long time. However, appliances also take a lot of wear and tear, whether you’re always doing laundry, loading the dishwasher or cooking a gourmet meal. Read on for answers to common household appliance questions and tips for making appliances last.

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How Long Do Appliances Last?

Depending on the type of appliance and how you use it, you should get at least a decade out of a new purchase. Dishwashers are the exception and tend to need replacing every nine years. Most other major appliances should last you anywhere from 10-15 years. Central air conditioning and water heaters may last even longer, up to 20 and 25 years, respectively.

Why Do New Appliances Not Last As Long?

Older appliances were made with sturdier materials, like metal, so they could withstand more use. Today, we use plastic and lighter materials for easier shipping and less overall expense, but that comes at the price of durability. The good news is that today’s appliances use less energy than older units and come with new features and technology.

Related: 14 Ways Your Destroying Your Appliances

Are Expensive Appliances Worth It?

It depends on what you’re using the appliance for. Appliances with extra features or technology, luxury items that will allow you to do a better job or a stylish option for a specific room may be worth a higher price tag. However, just because the item is more expensive doesn’t mean it will last longer.

It’s more important to look at the quality of the appliance’s materials and explore warranty options. In the long run, that will give you better peace of mind before making a big purchase.

Appliance Maintenance Versus New Appliances

If you’re deciding whether to service an appliance or buy a new one, use the 50 per cent rule. If the appliance in question has already lasted more than half its projected shelf life and will cost you more than 50 per cent of the original price to repair it, it’s probably time to invest in a new one.

Related: How Long Household Appliances Last: When You Should Toss or Fix

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How Can You Make Appliances Last Longer?

Every appliance is different, and you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. In the meantime, here are five universal rules for upkeeping your appliances and making them last longer.

  1. Follow the Instruction Manual

As mentioned, it’s important to follow all instructions when using your appliance. Not reading the manual and following the included guides can result in a unit that kicks the bucket sooner rather than later.

  1. Don’t Overfill or Overload

Don’t stuff your appliance to the brim, whether you’re stacking the dishwasher or throwing in the laundry. Heavy loads will strain the machine and cause it to work harder, minimizing its shelf life. Leave plenty of room so that your machine works to its maximum efficiency.

  1. Clean Filters, Connections and Lines Regularly

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when did you last clean your dishwasher or microwave? Scrubbed your fridge? Removed the burners from your stove to ensure they’re clean and well-connected to the power source? What about flushing your water heater? Keeping lines, filters, gaskets and other essential parts of your appliance clean regularly will help improve their overall lifespans.

Related: From Appliances to Fabrics: How Often Should You Clean These Things in Your Home

  1. Change Filters as Needed

Filters on many appliances, like furnaces, will only last so long before they’re full of gunk and other efficiency-reducing items. Be sure to change the filters on things like the fridge water dispenser, air conditioner and stove hood as often as needed. The same applies to small appliances, like pod coffee makers, vacuums and humidifiers.

  1. Keep Your Appliances Clean

The most important general rule of appliance upkeep is to keep appliances clean. Set time aside once a month to clean your units inside and out. Look into whether your appliance can use designated cleaners and run them on empty for a thorough clean or run them on a hot water cycle to clear out any debris.

 

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