How long do refrigerators last? The lifespan of kitchen appliances

If you ask “How long do refrigerators last?” you are probably planning a remodel or you are the owner of a very old kitchen appliance.

Reality check: Rarely do people line up to buy the latest model device like many do for the latest iPhone. Reality check: While most people stumble upon buying a new gadget the day it hits the market, they’re likely to stick with their devices for as long as possible.

But is it really profitable to keep devices until they break down? What is the average lifespan of your kitchen appliances?

What is the lifespan of kitchen appliances?

Various factors determine how long kitchen appliances last, including how often you use them, the brand you choose, and how well they are maintained.

Estimates of the life cycle of kitchen appliances vary. For instance, refrigerators can last from 14 to 27 years, depending Knight Phoebe This is the fixed appliance repair in Sandy Springs, GA.

Freezers tend to last a little shorter, 12 to 20 years. Your oven and stove will likely die over a similar period, with an oven lasting 12-15 years and a range of 15-17 years.

Microwaves work the shortest, about seven to nine years. And a dishwasher should be functional for about nine to 11 years.

Should old devices be kept?

Now that we have roughly established the lifespan of kitchen appliances, is it inefficient to keep your old kitchen appliances if they are still working? It depends.

“Older refrigerators use a little more energy, but the same is not true for dishwashers, ovens, stoves, etc.,” says Scott McConnell, owner of Lake Appliance Repair in Fair Oaks, California. “New refrigerators are much more energy efficient, but with other kitchen appliances you still have to use a heating element, so the energy consumption is the same.”

Knight agrees that the new refrigerators are much more energy efficient. “An older refrigerator that uses Freon can use up to 75% more energy than a modern, energy-efficient model,” she says. “Also, if there is a leak in the sealed system, the refrigerator may need to periodically top up its Freon. Since this substance is dangerous to humans, it should only be handled by a licensed professional.

However, upgrading other kitchen appliances is probably not worth it. For many people, the cost savings do not justify a new purchase. “Typically, you can save $30 to $100 a year on your electric bill by upgrading,” says Knight.

What can you do to make every device last longer?

A simple way to extend the life of your kitchen appliances is to do your homework before making a purchase. Some brands and models have been subject to recalls or are known to be defective and unreliable. So, in addition to doing your research to try and avoid a lemon, here are some ways to keep your old appliances running smoothly for years to come.


Fridge Freezer

Check the door seal to make sure cold air isn’t escaping, McConnell says. This is the molded rubber on the inside of the fridge/freezer door or lid. If the gasket is moldy, brittle, or you notice condensation, it’s probably time to replace it.

Additionally, Knight recommends keeping your fridge and freezer stocked. Why? A full freezer is easier to keep cold than an empty freezer because the frozen items inside will help maintain the temperature. “But don’t pack them so full that airflow is blocked, as this can cause frost to build up and devices can stop cooling.”


Knight cautions against using your oven’s self-cleaning feature. “Manufacturers add this feature because it’s hard to sell an oven that doesn’t have it, but this feature generates a lot of service calls,” she says. “Most ovens are not able to withstand the high, sustained heat of a self-cleaning cycle.”

The furnace

“The most important part of stove maintenance is keeping it to cleansays Knight. “This is true for all types of stoves, including gas stoves, glass hobs and metal coil hobs.” She recommends using non-abrasive cleaners on all parts of a stove.


Use your dishwasher daily, or at least once every other day, says McConnell. “Components start to fail from lack of use,” he says. “The motor assembly that builds up water pressure will seize.” Even if you have to run the appliance empty on a shorter cycle, McConnell says it’s important to use the dishwasher regularly.

Knight adds that it’s important to keep the inside of the dishwasher clean. “If there’s a buildup of food in the bottom of the dishwasher or in the filter, it should be cleaned immediately,” she says.


Although microwaves are extremely convenient, McConnell warns against over-reliance on them. “Microwaves are not designed for long-term cooking; they are best used for three minutes or less, but when regularly used to cook a meal, they usually fail between four and eight years, due to the magnetron, which does all the heating. And when that component fails, McConnell says, it requires a major repair. Or more generally, a complete replacement.

Knight also advises consumers to make sure they only use microwave-safe dishes. “Most people know not to put metal in a microwave, but other types of dishes can also be a problem,” she says. “Some types of plastics melt in the microwave, and untempered glass can shatter at high temperatures.”

One final tip: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 150,000 home fires are caused by appliances. So always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for operating the devices safely.

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Karl M. Bailey