Can you afford new appliances? - MoneySense

Can you afford new appliances?

Appliance are expensive. Planning to replace them should be part of your home maintenance.



When I moved into my new house two and a half years ago I had to buy several new appliances: washer and dryer, fridge and stove, and a freezer. Just 18 months later my fridge died. That’s when I discovered it only had an 18-month warranty.

Am I wrong in thinking 18 months seems a little short for a fridge’s expected lifespan? If you’re like me and like to plan ahead for those big purchases, how long should you expect to get out of an appliance?

According to the National Association of Home Builders, which did a study on the life expectancy of home components, I was ripped off. A fridge should last about 13 years. Expect to get 9 years from your dishwasher and microwave oven, 13 years from your electric stove and 15 years from your gas stove. And your washer and dryer? Thirteen and 14 years, respectively.

Knowing how long your appliances are likely to last puts you in the driver’s seat in terms of shopping for new ones before they give up the ghost. Wait until your washing machine dies and you have stinky laundry piled up the wall, and you’re far less likely to do your research, comparison shop and make a smart decision. You’ll buy whatever you can have delivered by the weekend.

If you’re renovating and want to know whether to swap out those appliances at the same time, knowing when they’ll likely go kaput means you could buy in bulk and save some money. Or maybe you’ll delay your reno for a couple of years so you can line it up with the expiry of your old appliances. You’ll have more money saved and you’ll have squeezed every last moment you could out of those suckers.

Building new appliances into your home maintenance budget is a great idea too. What better place to store the $7.69 a month you begin setting aside for the replacement fridge (hopefully in 13 years) when you bring the new one home from the store.

As for my fridge fiasco, a year later I’m still waiting for Danby to send me my cheque. Thank goodness I had money in my home maintenance account for the other stuff that hasn’t gone kaput yet.