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Managing Your Expectation With
Your Appliance Relations

While milk cartons have a really helpful ‘use by’ date, the refrigerators keeping that milk nice and cold do not. So how is a homeowner like you supposed to know the life expectancy of your appliances? How can you budget for the future while removing some of the surprise of those ‘unexpected expenses’? What should you think when you’re checking the appliances in a home that’s for sale?

The National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America Home Equity attempted to answer all these questions in 2007 when they released a report called the ‘Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components’. From refrigerators to trash compactors, they gave an educated approximation of the lifespan of home appliances.

And while their 7-year-old numbers may probably need to be adjusted downward, they should still help you manage your expectations for when it may be time to find a new home for that perishable necessity in your family’s life called milk:


  • Refrigerator: 13 years
  • Gas range oven: 15 years
  • Trash compactor: six years
  • Dishwasher: nine years
  • Microwave oven: nine years
  • Washing machine: 10 years
  • Electric or gas dryer: 13 years.
  • Food waste disposer: 12 years
  • Electric water heater: 11 years
  • Gas water heater: 10 years
  • Electric boiler: 13 years
  • Gas boiler: 21 years
  • Carpet: 8 to 10 years
  • Linoleum floor: 25 years
  • Laminate floor: 15 to 25 years