Household Appliances and HVAC System - Life expectancy
Prudent Buyers who have their budget, their eyes and heart set on older homes are consulted to indeed do their due diligence and observe the condition-and-age of the major kitchen appliances, the water heater, the air conditioning (compressor) and the furnace. After observations, I get what follows is an important and a much anticipated question… How long will the current major appliances as well as the Heating and Air Conditioning system last from this date forward?
To answer that, we need to know the average life of an appliance, when was the purchase date of that particular appliance and who is the manufacturer. All this information is helpful in order to help a buyer’s decision in regards as to whether to spend money soon after Close-of-Escrow or is it best to hold-off on any major appliance purchases for now.
To find out more about a particular appliance.
First: let’s start-off by asking the current homeowner (Seller) if they can recall the date-of-purchase, if they have any brochures and/or pamphlets – this is very helpful information and hopefully the seller does have these requested items and any maintenance record keeping of each appliance.
They don’t make them like they used to.
Older appliances indeed had a long-long life… well at least a lot longer than today’s newer appliances. Many newer models, of today, are more high-tech and therefore have different types of problems when they break down – unfortunately any newer appliance issues may be more expensive to repair.
Some older appliances may still be working but they tend to be so energy inefficient that replacing them, when they've met and/or exceeded their life span, makes more financial sense. By now we should all know that "energy efficiency" is the key to saving money on your utility bills.
What is Lifespan of Most Appliances and Home Systems?
Here is a breakdown of the average life per appliance. Of course, all this is dependent on the frequency of use and are “estimates”, thus informational purposed only !
• Refrigerators 8 to 17 years.
• Stoves / Range (Electric) 8 to 15 years.
• Stoves / Range (GAS) 8 to 17 years.
• Microwave ovens 9 years.
• Dual Ovens (in wall) 10 to 15
• Oven & Microwave (in wall) 9 to 15
• Washing machines (Top Loading) 10 to 14 years.
• Washing machines (Front Loaders) 8 to 11 years.
• Dryers (Laundry) 10 to 15 years.
• Dishwashers 9 to15 years.
• Water Heaters (Gas or Electric) 8 to 12 years.
• Tankless Water Heater 20 plus years.
• Garbage Disposal 10 to 12 years.
• Air Conditioner (One room “wall unit” type) 10 years.
• Air Conditioner (Compressor - Whole House) 10 to 15 years.
• Furnace (Gas or Electric) 20 to 30 years.
As-you-know, the HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) consists of (1) the A/C compressor and (2) the Furnace. Both have different lifespans. So keep-in-mind that if you run the Furnace constantly during the winter and summer, it probably won't last the estimated higher number of 30-years.
Again, the given lifespan years are estimates only, not guarantees. Your HVAC brand and usage could result in higher or lower life expectancies. Don’t forget to keep up with HVAC maintenance by:
• Getting tune-ups / servicing annually.
• Remove debris around the outside and/or up against the Compressor unit.
• Service and replace refrigerant as necessary.
• Changing HVAC filter regularly (1-3 months). … A typical home without pets => Change filter every 90 days.... Have a dog or cat? => then change every 60 days.
In closing: After 15 years of use of any major home appliance and/or systems, a homeowner should know that the appliance is more than likely close to or is-at-the-end of its expected lifespan. Therefore, consider that appliance to have “lived out” its full life. Why keep paying to repair the unit over and over? Consider the costs to repair the appliance vs. the purchase of a new one.... My guess is that you will end-up buying a new one.
Oscar Castillo : Broker Associate (San Diego, CA)
- Residential Brokerage