You should be extremely scrutinizing when you’re going to buy a new washing machine. After all, your choice will be part of your life for a long time. Which brings us to this question: how long on average is the lifespan of a washing machine?
According to a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders / Bank of America Home Equity, the average lifespan of a washer (washing machine) is 10 years. Additionally, dryers, whether gas or electric, have an average lifespan of 13 years.
While washing machines do tend to have a long lifespan, it wouldn’t get there if you do not maintain it properly. In this article, we will discuss the average lifespan of a washing machine, and what you can do to extend it.
What is the average lifespan of a washing machine?
Knowing how long the useful life of a washing machine will be helpful when you need a benchmark to compare against when deciding whether or not to replace your unit.
Washing machines are classified as durable goods, which means that their usable life is long. How long exactly? According to the previously stated study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), these are the average lifespan of a washer:
Since this is an American study, take note that what they are referring here are the fully automatic models and does not include the plastic-bodied single tub and twin tub models nor the spin dryer models commonly found in the Philippines.
How to know the age of your washing machine
Some of us can clearly remember when we’ve bought a major item like a car, or an appliance such as a washing machine. But if you’ve forgotten when you’ve bought the washer (or if you bought it second-hand), you can still get clues by looking at its serial number.
The serial number can be seen at at the printed label at the back of the washing machine. For front load models, this label may be located on the inside of the washer door.
Serial numbers often contain the year that that particular unit has been manufactured. Most manufacturers put it at the start of the string of numbers, while others put it somewhere in the middle.
How can you extend your washer’s useful life?
Proper care and regular maintenance will help extend the life of your washing machine. Here is a simple care and maintenance checklist and how often you should do them:
|Wipe the body and leave the door open to dry
|Run a tub clean cycle
|Once a month
|Clean the lint filter
|Once a month
|Clean the gasket
|Twice a year
|Have it inspected by a technician
|Once a year
Apart from those recommended maintenance schedules, here are some best practices that can help prolong the life of your washer:
- Don’t overload
- Remove wet clothes ASAP
- Don’t use too much soap
- Don’t wash items not meant for the washing machine
- Always empty your pockets to prevent damage to the drum
- Make sure that the unit is properly leveled
How to know when to replace your washing machine
While washing machines do tend to last for a long time, we can’t use them forever. Someday, our washers will develop mechanical issues and will need replacing. Here are some of the signs that its time to replace your washing machine
- There are holes in the drums
- The motor has given out
- If it produces excessive noises
- It has been repaired many times before
However, as the NAHB pointed out, appliances such as washing machines are “often replaced long before they are worn out because changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences make newer products more desirable”.
Washing machines and dryers are built tough to weather multiple years of use. However, do not be complacent; always properly care for and maintain your washer so that you can extend its lifespan considerably.
- Economics Group of NAHB. (2007, February). Study of life expectancy of home components. National Association of Home Builders / Bank of America Home Equity. https://www.interstatebrick.com/sites/default/files/library/nahb20study20of20life20expectancy20of20home20components.pdf
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.