Americans spend roughly $15 billion on household appliances every year, and determining how long those appliances last is anything but an exact science.

Variables like whether or not you use a water softener can have a great effect on the lifespan of washers and water heaters. Maintenance and environmental conditions are also contributors.

Everyone knows someone who has a stove or refrigerator that just keeps on ticking well past its expected lifespan. (My dad has an International Harvester chest freezer that we estimate was purchased in the 1940s. It runs perfectly.) And who among us hasn't purchased a lemon that puts us on a first-name basis with a repairman, or gets hauled to the curb after only a few short years?

According to This Old House Online, here's how long you should expect your household appliances to last:

  • Dishwasher - 10 Years
  • Garbage Disposal - 10 Years
  • Room Air Conditioner - 10 Years
  • Microwave - 11 Years
  • Gas Water Heater - 11-13 Years
  • Washer - 13 Years
  • Clothes Dryer - 14 Years
  • Electric Water Heater - 14 Years
  • Refrigerator - 14-17 Years
  • Electric Range - 17 Years
  • Gas Range - 19 Years
  • Water Softener - 20 Years

- George McIntyre
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