As winter wears on and you find yourself spending more time indoors, you may be noticing little things around the house that you normally wouldn't.

The worn-away grout in your bathroom.

The drafts coming from your doors and windows.

Your old, out-dated appliances.


Blame it on one-too-many HDTV reruns, but, if you find yourself wondering whether it's time to upgrade or not, here are the guidelines:

Dishwasher... 9 years.



Average cost to replace: $240-$700.

If you want to keep your dishwasher in good condition,

Microwave... 11 years.

Average cost to replace: $300-$700.

Oven/Range... 17 years (electric)/19 years (gas).



Average cost to replace: $300-$1,500 depending on model.

Refrigerator... 14-17 years.

Cost to replace: $350-$2,000+.

Washer/Dryer... 13-14 years.




Cost to replace: $500-$2,000+ for a set. Gulp.

Want to make your appliances last until their golden years? Follow these tips from This Old House:
  • Clean the condenser coils on refrigerators annually.
  • Change air-conditioner filters monthly during the operating season.
  • Replace washer fill hoses every five years; turn off the water supply when away for an extended period. Drain hoses if below-freezing temperatures are expected.
  • Inspect and clean the exhaust duct on the clothes dryer at least once a year, and clean the lint filter before each use.
  • Don't allow heavy grease buildup on the oven interior.

Also -- while those old, white appliances might not be as fancy as the brand-new stainless steel machines on TV, take heart! Older appliances have been proven to boast a longer lifespan than newer models.

Photo Credits: Nancy Hugo, Remodeled Kitchen | Nancy Hugo, French Country Kitchen | Deidre Woollard, Washer/Dryer at Dwell on Design.

Sources: Consumer Reports, Make Your Washer and Dryer Last | This Old House, How Long Stuff Lasts | Wired, The End of the Throwaway Appliance.

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