|The following list of appliances and major systems and their life expectancy comes from a respected home inspector NOT a manufacturer. A home inspector sees hundreds of appliances and systems like a heater system or an air conditioning system and will tell you the realistic life of your systems and appliances. Of course, home inspectors do not have a crystal ball and there can be unforeseen circumstances that occur so the life expectancy just that… what we expect.
1. Smoke detectors and Carbon monoxide detectors: Most smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years and carbon monoxide detectors are replaced every seven years. Of course batteries should be replaced every 6 months.
2. Refrigerators: The rule here is: If your refrigerator is more than 15 years old, it is so inefficient compared to modern day refrigerators that it should be replaced. A 10-year old refrigerator consumes twice the amount of energy as a modern day Energy-Star rated model.
3. HVAC: In Las Vegas we don’t have separate furnace (heating) and air conditioning systems. Its all-in-one: Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning. A well-maintained HVAC system will last many years. Well maintained includes changing filters in a regular, consistent, and timely manner and having the units serviced semi-annually. Air conditioner components will fail long before furnace issues occur. The average life expectancy for air conditioning systems is 10 – 15 years. Heating systems will generally last 20 – 30 years. Newer units with SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) of 14- 16 SEER are more than 25% more efficient and consume more than 25% less electricity than a 10 SEER unit.
4. Water Heater: A water heater maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations is supposed to last 8 – 12 years. This generally means that the tank is drained and flushed of sediment twice a year. People rarely do this. Sediment build-up in the tank causes uneven heating in the tank, metal fatigue, and that’s what often causes premature failure. Lowering the temperature reduces the effects of the uneven heating and can prolong life.
5. Water Softeners: The life expectancy of water softeners varies greatly. The general life expectancy is 8 – 10 years. The less expensive off-the-shelf units often don’t last long and the high end models can operate well for over 20 years.
6. Clothes Washers: When maintained and cleaned in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, washers generally have a life expectancy of 8-12 years.
7. Clothes Dryers: Clothes dryers have a life expectancy of 8 – 10 years. Excessive heat greatly contributes to failure of dryers. Excessive heat is often the result of inadequate airflow. Inadequate airflow occurs when the vent becomes clogged. It’s very important to clean the dryer vent no less than biannually.