FIVE SECRETS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT APPLIANCES
You have to replace your refrigerator or your range or your microwave and you’re experiencing sticker shock about the prices. Should you just repair the old stuff instead? And how long should appliances last anyway?
We recently talked to two experts on fixing appliances, Daniel Beyer of Beyer Appliance Repair in Tempe and Annette Little of Frost Appliances in Phoenix, who told us five important things about the world of home appliances:
1 | Choices have changed.
The world of appliances has a very different look. Big companies bought up smaller ones and merged those products into their own line of appliances. Although the old brand names may be on the outside of the dishwashers, for example, many models can be the same appliance on the inside as others produced under a different brand name.
2 | Appliances bought several years ago may have had a longer lifespan than brand-new products.
However, repairing and keeping them isn’t always desirable if you’re remodeling. Or if you want to switch from white to stainless steel throughout the kitchen. Or if you want a sparkling new appliance to replace an old, beat-up model. Some of today’s refrigerators might last 8 to 10 years; years ago, they might have lasted 10 to 15 years.
3 | Paying more for a higher quality appliance can usually pay off in more years of life than you get with a cheaper machine.
But that’s only if you go for quality of construction and not for extra gizmos and gadgets that you might rarely use and that might increase the risk of breakdowns.
4 | Manufacturer’s warranties given for today’s appliances can be shorter.
They’re generally only a year or two long while in the past they could be up to five years.
5 | If you have a machine that performs well and aren’t upset about the dents and scratches, you can probably have it repaired.
Manufacturers do continue to stock reasonably priced parts for many older machines.
HERE’S WHAT OUR EXPERTS GENERALLY SAY ABOUT THE LIFESPAN OF KEY APPLIANCES:
- Clothes washers – 6 to 8 years on average though maybe 10 or more for a high-quality machine.
- Clothes dryers – 10 to 15 years. A dryer might last even longer than that, Beyer says, but will need periodic repairs. Most people aren’t ready to do that because it might mean having a really old dryer and a new washer that don’t match up in appearance.
- Dishwashers – Dishwashers can rust out quickly due to hard water in Arizona and might only last 5 to 7 years, maybe 8 or 9. Replacing those racks and keeping the dishwasher can be too expensive though.
- Ranges – A gas range can last 13 to 15 years while an electric model can last about 8 years.
- Ovens – Built-in, high quality ovens can last 12-20 years. It’s best not to turn on the self-cleaning function in some wall ovens because some don’t have proper exhaust systems to move the heat out of the oven. That heat can damage equipment in the oven.
- Microwaves – 5 to 7 years.
- Refrigerators – 9 to 10 years but more if it’s a high-quality brand. Older refrigerators can last and last, and parts are often reasonable in price.