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One of the best financial decisions I made was buying a brand-new house. For the first 12 years that I owned the house, I didn’t have to fix anything. It was absolutely wonderful. However, over the past couple of years, some things have started to break down. First, the microwave broke, then the HVAC system, and recently, we replaced the water heater.
I was lamenting to my wife how much money we were spending on these replacements. These expenses were sucking our emergency fund dry. But, then she asked me how long I had really expected these appliances to last.
I didn’t have a great answer. Hence, the creation of this blogpost. Most major household appliances have a lifespan. It is good to keep this in mind to make sure your emergency fund is sufficiently funded when an appliance stops working.
Let’s start with one of the biggest purchases that you’ll make aside from your home– your car. According to Matt DeLorenzo of Kelly Blue Book, “You can reasonably expect a new car to last at least 100,000 miles and 10 years without major repairs.”
The one thing to keep in mind, however, is, “if you don’t check your oil and run out, the engine life will be very short,” DeLorenzo says. “If you merely skip oil changes and keep it topped off, dirt and other contaminants will build up in the engine, eventually causing premature wear.”
Related Article: The Undeniable Appeal of a New Car
My wife and I recently bought a new Casper mattress. We had slept the same mattress for years, and it was starting to become really uncomfortable. According to the Better Sleep Council, which I should note is supported by the mattress industry, they recommend replacing a mattress every 7 years for optimal comfort and support.
We were convinced after reading all the amazing reviews to go with Casper, and we have been very happy with it. Admittedly, it didn’t feel as soft as I had hoped for at first, so they offered a free mattress topper, which solved the problem perfectly.
Related Article: Why You Probably Need More Sleep
Two years ago, I bought a Dell laptop. At the time of purchase, my wife tried to convince me to buy a Macbook, since she loves hers. I told her that I couldn’t justify the price. Plus, Macs seemed so overpriced. Well, her Macbook is still running, and my Dell barely lasted 14 months.
According to David Hunt, technical director at the computer repair company, Gurus2go, “a home-class PC or Mac will last about 3-4 years.”
Needless to say, after many years of exclusively purchasing PCs, I took the plunge and purchased my first Mac. While most people say that PCs and Macs last about the same amount of time, I’m inclined to believe Macs have an edge on PCs. Of course, only time will tell.
The average person keeps their phone for about 22.7 months, according to a Business Insider article. This figure has been trending upward since many cell phone providers removed the regular upgrade feature a couple years ago.
After 3 years, most cell phones begin to show signs of decline and begin to lose operating support. I know that my iPhone 5 no longer receives iOS updates. While that is unfortunate, my phone is still going strong as I recently replaced the battery myself for a mere $20.
Today, LCD (liquid crystal display) televisions are the most common TV sold in the U.S., although OLED are gaining traction in the higher-end market. Both of these TVs normally last about 100,000 hours before they begin to lose half their brightness. The average U.S. TV watcher consumes 5 hours of TV everyday. That means the average TV should last 20,000 days, or a little over 50 years. So if you think you need a new TV, you might be wrong.
Weather is the big factor in the lifespan of a roof. However, the materials used to construct a roof greatly matter as well. Roofs that are made of copper, concrete, or slate normally last the longest at over 50 years or more. Those made of wood or asphalt normally last 20-30 years.
Around 10 years ago, the National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America Home Equity released the “Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components.” It found that the life expectancy on an appliance greatly depends on the extent of its use.
Here are some of its findings:
Gas range… 15 years
Refrigerators and dryers… 13 years
Food waste disposal… 12 years
Electric water heaters… 11 years
Gas water heaters… 10 years
Washing machines… 10 years
Dishwashers… 9 years
Microwaves… 9 years
Trash compactors… 6 years
You may have heard older people complain about the longevity of appliances nowadays. “As manufacturers try to keep costs and pricing down to compete, the product life on our core categories – appliances and electronics – has shortened significantly,” says Jon Abt, co-president of Abt Electronics and Appliances in Glenview, Illinois. “Customers who come into our store to replace their 20-year-old refrigerator are surprised when we tell them the average life expectancy of a new one is 7 to 12 years.”