How Long Will It Last?
The Life Expectancy of Your Home’s Components
Home buying instigates a series of questions that you never had to consider before and maybe conversations that you never thought to have. For instance, how long will this toilet last anyway? In your early years and renting days, these questions were likely never something you had to consider, but now that you have stepped into the homeownership space, you’re now cruising home improvement stores like you used to cruise the mall.
We are here to help, and in this article, we will explore just how long specific items in your home will last and when you can expect (or prepare) to replace them. Yes, we are going to tackle the toilets too. Let’s jump into it.
The basic estimation around a roof’s life expectancy is about 20 years, but that is a pretty rough guestimate and can be impacted by other elements. The type of roof you have, the roofing materials and the installation of that roof are what makes or breaks that 20-year estimate. Learn as much as you can about your roof and ask a qualified inspector to explain the current condition of it, so you can plan on when it might need replacing.
The consensus is that an AC unit will last about 10-15 years and really can depend on the type of system you have. If your AC unit spends a lot of time flipping on and off placing wear and tear on the compressor, chances are your unit will be on the shorter end of the life cycle. Regular maintenance and repairs can prolong the unit’s longevity.
The main factor that contributes to an extended heat pump lifespan can be summed up in one word. Maintenance. This factor alone can turn what might last 10-15 years by merely keeping the coils free of debris or ice and cleaning the condenser unit regularly.
Most hot water heaters last between 10 and 15 years. The discrepancy is based on how well the unit is cared for and the content of your water. Draining the unit for sediment and having someone look at how well it’s functioning every couple years (yes, even when it’s working correctly) will go a long way in getting a long lifespan from the unit.
Your home’s furnace is a workhorse and is designed to stand the test of time. Most furnaces rate to have a 15-20 year life expectancy. As with many components we list here, maintenance is a key factor in ensuring your furnace will function correctly and for potential decades.
If you have an electric range you can expect it to last about 15 years. For those who have a gas stove, you will see a lifespan closer to 15 years. The determining factor tends to be the type of range you purchase from the onset, which means you should purchase the best range your budget will allow.
The fridge is a used, and sometimes abused, appliance that can take a lot over the years. In fact, the basic lifespan of a refrigerator is roughly 15 years. Simply pay attention to how it is functioning and replace things like filters if your style fridge requires that sort of care. Planning ahead and taking note of when sales happen during the year from your favorite brands might be a good replacement strategy.
The average dishwasher will get you close to a decade of use before needing to replace it, on average. Get as much use as possible from it, by regularly taking the filters and strainers apart to clear particles and mineral build up. The hoses and water delivery pieces can often have soap and detergent build up as well.
This is one home element that tends to stand the test of time. Roughly 25-30 years actually. Chances are your sink will be replaced for aesthetic reasons before failure reasons. To keep your sink looking great over the years, clean it according to factory recommendations or, learn more about the material it’s made of and follow those care suggestions.
This element of your home is likely composed of a few different materials if it’s a custom build. If your shower is made of tile and grout, you will need to seal the tile every few years. Tile and grout are not waterproof contrary to what you might think given the environment they are used in. If you have a solid surface surround, made of plastic or PVC materials, your shower could last 50 years. To get the most out of your shower, care for it and deep clean it regularly.
If your toilets are older than 1994, they actually are supposed to be replaced for more water efficient options. This, despite toilets can last four or five decades. Older toilets are not as ergonomic as new varieties, so as long as your toilets are working fine and newer than 1994, they should stand the test of time. The only exception would be if the wax ring wore out under it. Also, “never” use things like clog chemicals in your toilet, they can sit in the base and melt that wax ring and leave you with a gooey mess.
This will be somewhat dependent on what kind of windows you have in your home, but in general, 15 to 30 years tends to be the consensus in the industry. You can prolong that lifespan by regularly looking at the casings and checking for things like rot or broken seals.
The life expectancy of your doors will depend on the materials they are made of. Solid wood doors can last 30+ years, but if they have inserts like windows, that can take a few years off of the total lifespan. The casings, seals, hardware, and paint are more likely to wear than the actual door. Tend to those issues and make repairs as needed to add years to your interior and exterior doors.
This can vary, but the general agreement is that a garage door opener will last about 10-15 years. Be mindful of how the buttons are working and change out batteries once a year to keep it functioning as efficiently as possible. Order back up options as well so you don’t get stuck outside at some point.
The bottom line is, getting your home elements on a schedule should increase the longevity of most household components. Regular maintenance is the easiest way to ensure these items have a long shelf life. If you’re looking at buying a home, ask when these items were last replaced.