How Long Should A Home’s Major Appliances and Systems Last?

Weather and Usage are Two Determining Factors


Most homeowners consider it a guessing game when it comes to how long their furnace or dishwasher is going to last. The only thing that sometimes seems for certain is that it will go out at the most inopportune time.

“When considering the purchase of an existing home is important for the buyer to look at the age of the appliances and most importantly, the major systems of the home,” Art Chartrand, National Association of Home Services Contracts said. “The last thing a new home owner wants to be saddled with a big bill to replace major systems or appliances. That is why a home service contract is such a good value – for a relatively small investment, it gives you peace of mind.”

The following is a list of averages for many of the appliances and electronic systems in your home based on The National Association of Home Builders/Bank of America Home Equity “Study of the Life Expectancies of Home Components”

• gas ranges – 15 years
• dryers and refrigerators – 13 years.
• compactors – 6 years
• dishwashers – 9 years
• microwave ovens – 9 years
• HVAC – 15-20 years
• furnaces – 15-20 years
• tankless water heaters – 20 years
• electric or gas water heater – 10
• heat pumps -16 years
• air conditioning – 10 to 15years
• garage doors – 10 to 15 years

NAHB cautions that these are averages and that factors including usage and weather can impact the life expectancy of any of these appliances or systems. Home service contracts provide service, repair or even replacement on a home’s major systems and appliances. At an average range of $400 – $550 for a 12-month period, these contracts typically cover items such as heating systems, interior plumbing, electrical systems, water heaters, dishwashers, and garbage disposals. The National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA) is a non-profit 501(c) (6) industry trade organization of member companies serving home service contract providers and consumer interests throughout the United States. Visit online at