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Extend the life expectancy of your cooking appliances

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These days, we’re all trying to save money at home, and replacing kitchen appliances because you want to certainly doesn’t top the list—until something breaks and then you have no choice.

The good news is that you can get out in front of this need by understanding how long your kitchen appliances are supposed to last, and then keeping up with proper maintenance.

Most large appliances last at least a decade—and sometimes a lot longer. When you know, say, your fridge is reaching the end of its lifecycle, you will be able to plan ahead to take advantage of sales and find the right time to buy new appliances before they break and create a shopping emergency.

If you’re wondering how long ovens last, and what you can do to get the most life out of them, read on for our guide.

What is the lifespan for cooking appliances?

High quality gas ranges, such as the Bosch 800 Series or the Café slide-in gas smart rangecan last up to 20 years, which is the longest life expectancy amongst cooking appliances. This is followed closely by built-in or wall ovens, like the 30-inch Bertazzoni with a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.

Electric ranges fall in the 13- to 15-year range, while range hoods last an average of 15 years, coinciding nicely with the lifespan of most cooking appliances they support. Complex electronic controls are most likely to stop working first, so longevity often favors simplicity.

Gas ranges tend to last longer than electric ones because they have fewer electrical components, although both can be relatively easily repaired—if the problem is minor. Doors, lights, thermostats, and even heating elements can be replaced to extend the lifespan of the appliance.

The lifespan of an induction range is measured in working hours rather than years. The expected life of an induction appliance for the home kitchen is 10,000 working hours. Depending on how much you cook, this likely equates to at least 10 years.

Choosing an induction cooktop with a thicker glass surface, such as the Bosch NITP660UC, can also help extend its lifespan, and using properly sized cookware will help get the most power out of the appliance.

Lastly, a microwave is a completely different story. These are not built to last as long, with 9 years generally being the upper limit. Quality is a big factor here; since microwaves have become progressively less expensive, we’ve also seen their lifetime decline.

Here’s why quality and maintenance matter

Quality certainly comes into play with the longevity of cooking appliances. Aside from any unforeseeable manufacturing defects, if you spend a little more up front you’ll likely be saving money down the line by not having to replace an appliance as soon.

For example, a budget oven could last 8 to 10 years, while upgrading to a high-end model could last you 15 to 20 years—double the duration could absolutely be worth the extra spend.

To bring that longevity to reality, proper use and maintenance are crucial. Keeping mechanical elements dust-free, preventing grease buildup on heating and venting elements, and addressing small issues before they turn catastrophic, will help increase the lifespan of your cooking appliances.

Beyond wiping down surfaces regularly, you need to go through the proper steps of cleaning your stovetop and oven according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Really get into the nooks and crannies of your appliances at least twice a year to keep them running at top performance.

Pro tip: If the flames on your gas burners seem to be uneven at times, use a pin or a pipe cleaner to clear gas burner ports to restore proper flow.

Make sure to read the owner’s manual

It sounds boring, but our experts suggested that you actually read appliance user manuals—they’re full of important tips.

If you can’t find the physical booklet anymore, you can likely find it on the manufacturer’s website. Even if the company doesn’t have an online version available, sites like manualsonline.com might have what you’re looking for.

It’s important to understand how your appliances are supposed to work, because if you don’t know then you’re not getting the full value of them. While you can’t expect appliances to work forever, by following the manufacturer’s guidance you might be able to make them last a little bit longer.

Sometimes appliance lifespan is subjective

You may choose to replace appliances that still have some life left in them. Whether that’s because your tastes and/or needs have changed, or you want to improve their energy efficiency, or you want to upgrade your kitchen’s smart features—these are decisions you want to make when you’re ready and not under duress.

When you’re ready to bring home your new range, wall oven, or smart appliance​​, most distributors offer removal of old appliances, and they’re required to dispose of them properly. Or you can hire a service that removes appliances and donates them or ensures they’re properly recycled.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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