Appliance Life Expectancy Chart & Creating a Home Budget

Do you ever wonder about the life expectancy of your major appliances? It may seem like they break down at the worst possible time—and it’s always when your budget is the tightest. Learn how an American Home Shield home warranty plan can help with our handy appliance repair pricing guide.

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One of the best parts of living in modern times is the convenience we have at the tip of our fingers. We can heat food in minutes, wash dishes and clothes with a push of a button, and even order groceries with our phone. 

Can you imagine if our ancestors could see us now? We grumble about loading the dishwasher, but they had to heat the water over a fire just to do dishes or take a bath. We get used to the conveniences and rarely think about a home appliance budget until disaster hits, the appliance stops working, and we have to come up with the cash to repair or replace it.

Unfortunately, advanced technology does not necessarily mean a longer appliance life expectancy. When you combine technological complexity with the use of less-durable plastic parts, today's typical home appliance will last from 5 to 20 years. In our parents’ or grandparents’ time, the typical appliance life span was between 20 and 30 years.

The following appliance life expectancy chart lists a few of the more commonly used home appliances and systems, from fridge life spans to dishwasher lifetime averages. It also serves as a home repair pricing guide that can help you create an annual budget.


Average Life Span**

Est. Repair or Replace Cost*


10–18 years



10–16 years


Built-in Microwaves 

10 years


Washing Machine

11–14 years



8–12 years



9–10 years 


Water Heater

10–15 years


Heating & Cooling System

10–15 years


Septic Pump

7–10 years 


*Repair/Replacement costs ranges are the twentieth and eightieth percentile of U.S. costs as reported in A Study of Homeowners’ Appliance and Home Systems Service Experiences, a nationwide survey of homeowners conducted in 2019 by ClearVantage for American Home Shield. Further reproduction or use is expressly prohibited.

**Average life span statistics come from Home Advisor, Consumer Reports, and Simonds Machinery Co. 

It's easy to see that repairing and replacing any of these appliances or home systems can really make a dent when planning your home budget. Whether you’re creating an appliance budget for your new home or the same home you’ve lived in for years, planning it around these average life spans is important. 

A home warranty is a great way to protect your budget so that repairing or replacing your appliances doesn’t break the bank. American Home Shield has three home warranty plans to choose from to fit your budget and needs. We also cover appliances no matter their age. 

Advantages of an American Home Shield® home warranty 

A home warranty plan from American Home Shield can take much of the stress out of homeownership and help provide peace of mind. Here are just some of the benefits of a home warranty:

  • 24/7 claim submittal. As an American Home Shield® member, you can request service 24/7 online or by calling 1-800-776-4663 during standard business hours. Many service requests are dispatched within 24 hours.

  • Reliable experts. You don’t have to search the internet trying to find out the average cost of a washing machine repair or call around frantically trying to find a reasonable dryer repair cost. American Home Shield's nationwide network of expert service contractors and technicians will help get your household running properly.

  • Peace of mind. Sometimes the average life expectancy of kitchen appliances or home systems isn’t as long as predicted, and appliances can break down at the most inopportune times. With a home warranty, there’s no need to worry. We’ll send a contractor to diagnose the issue and determine if a repair or replacement is needed for the covered appliance. Your household will be back up and running again in no time.

As you budget for home appliances, reference our home maintenance guide, tips for a tighter budget, and guide for creating a budget for unexpected home maintenance costs.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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New Jersey Residents: The product being offered is a service contract and is separate and distinct from any product or service warranty which may be provided by the home builder or manufacturer.