Appliances and the ‘Good Old Days’

“Appliance is nearing, at the end, or past its life expectancy.  Budget accordingly for future repair or replacement”. This is an insert seen regularly with property inspection reports.  It can be alarming as the declining age of certain appliances may have been overshadowed by the allure and charm of the home when you toured it.  Almost everything we come in contact with over our lifetime has an expiration date.  Household appliances are no different. The age of appliances can be determined in the model or serial number found on the unit. You can search online for how to locate the model/serial numbers for your particular appliance. Most current appliances including microwaves, dishwashers, washers and dryers, refrigerators, and oven ranges have an average life expectancy of eight to sixteen years.

In the ‘good-old days’, household appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, ovens and dishwashers were built to last almost as long as you owned your house. When you purchased one, chances were pretty good that you’d have it for several years before replacing it. Many would argue that is not the case anymore. The kind of appliance and how it’s being used also plays a role in how long it will likely last.A refrigerator has a longer life than a washing machine because there aren’t a lot of working parts. With a washing machine, especially with a younger family, the life expectancy drops.  While appliances may not last as long as they once did, advances in technology have resulted in more energy-efficient machines.  Subsequently lowering the cost of running them, and in the case of washers and dishwashers, significantly reducing the amount of water used. A dishwasher used to use nine or ten gallons of water, now it’s down to three to five. The average washing machine used to use 35 to 50 gallons per load, but the high efficiency ones today use only 12 to 15. The need for less water is not only environmentally beneficial but can also save you a few extra bucks by reducing the costs of water consumption.  The traditional, top-loading washer tends to be the least energy efficient, but the most affordable, costing roughly $800 for a set.  Increasingly popular among larger families, especially those with kids, are high-efficiency (HE), front-loading washer and dryer sets, which not only use less detergent and water, but are stackable and can handle larger laundry loads, get clothes cleaner and cut down on drying time. Top-loading, high-efficiency washers seemingly combine the best of both worlds, but can’t be stacked and, like the front-loaders, have longer wash times. Much like washing machines, refrigerators come in a variety of styles and prices. The least expensive is the standard model with a freezer on top and refrigerator on the bottom.  With appliances living shorter lives, when something goes wrong should you fix it or put the money toward purchasing a new one?  Next week, we will review regular appliance maintenance and know when to repair/replace.

Until next week, Love where you Live.  And if you don’t… contact your local REALTOR®.

Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President