How Long do Washers & Dryers Last?

Are you looking to upgrade your old washer and dryer? Are you a potential renter or homeowner trying to evaluate the longevity of a washer and dryer you want to purchase?

Finding out how long washers and dryers last can help you plan financially. You can avoid the financial burden of replacing several home appliances around the same time if you know the signs for washer and dryer burnout. Purchasing a washer and dryer can be costly, but it also can be an investment that can save you time and money in the long run. And it can improve your laundry efficiency. Washers rated for efficiency use up to 35% less water and around 25% less energy than standard models. The same certified dryers use 20% less energy than traditional models, offering eco-friendly solutions.

According to Consumer Reports, the average lifespan of washers is typically 11 years for front load washers and 12 years for top load. For dryers, that’s around approximately 12 years. The difference is that there is usually more workload involved in washing than in drying. As a note – your washer and dryer’s lifespan varies according to several details, like whether top or front load, the size of the laundry appliances, and the brand. However, the signs indicating a need to replace the appliances are mostly the same. This article guides you on extending your washer and dryer’s lifespan and signs that it’s time for an upgrade or replacement.

It’s Time to Replace Your Washer & Dryer When…

Below is a list of indicators you can look for to determine whether it’s time to replace your washer and dryer:

There’s Leakage.

Although leaks are a concerning sign, they do not always indicate that you need a new appliance. A washing machine often has hoses connecting it to a water source and drainage that can be vulnerable to leaks if loosely connected.

After double-checking the hose connections, continued leaks could indicate a tub crack. The tub is the part of the washing machine where the clothes sit. Repairing a tub crack can sometimes get complicated, requiring you to replace the entire tub instead, which may be expensive.


The Clothes Are Not Drying.

Dryers typically use electric motors to rotate the dryer tubs while fans circulate hot air to evaporate the moisture in your clothes. Most times, blocked or clogged air vents are the leading causes of dryer dysfunction and energy loss. Over time, a lint build-up from your clothes in the dryer vents can reduce its functional efficiency.

Bent air ducts at the back of the clothes dryer can also affect airflow, contributing to dryer dysfunction. If cleaning out the vents, replacing the lint screens, or straightening bends in the air duct doesn’t solve this problem, it’s probably time to get a new one. Besides not drying clothes well, a dysfunctional dryer may also be a fire hazard.


There Are Funky Smells.

Older front-loader washer models didn’t have self-cleaning mechanisms that led to mildew or mold build-up, producing a funky smell. Although manually cleaning your washer can overcome this problem, it’s a tiresome solution. Manufacturers incorporated a self-cleaning mechanism in newer models to overcome this challenge, meaning that a funky smell could indicate a fault in the new washing machine models’ self-cleaning systems.


You Hear Excessive Noise.

Washers and dryers typically use electric motors to spin the wash tubs and dryers, making it normal to expect some noise. Putting in heavy laundry loads or uneven clothes can offset the balance, which can cause your machine to make abnormal noises. Excessive noise, however, can also indicate the need for appliance repair or a new washing machine, so consider putting in a smaller load of laundry to confirm that your machine isn’t off-balance before purchasing a new washer.

Ways to Extend Your Washer & Dryer’s Lifespan

Although your laundry appliances may ultimately give in to wear and tear after several years of use, you can extend their lifespan in the following ways:

1. Avoid overloading.

Washers work by tumbling your clothes in the tub to agitate and get rid of dirt using electric motors. Overloading the machine strains the motor that turns it, causing it to spin off-balance and increase the rate of wear and tear. Scratching and rattling noises can indicate an overloaded tub. Stopping the wash cycle to reduce or redistribute the load can overcome this issue.

2. Level your washer.

When your machine isn’t on level ground, it vibrates as the drum spins and can even shift position, which could damage the rotating motor. Ensure the floor in your laundry room is level using a leveling tool, or you can also adjust the machine’s leg height to overcome this challenge. You can also tighten the lock nuts on its feet to ensure the level and stability.

3. Use an appropriate amount of detergent.

Laundry appliances typically come with the manufacturer’s instructions on sufficient detergent or fabric softeners to use in a wash cycle. An excess amount of detergent requires extra cycles to thoroughly rinse the clothes, which may be a waste of water and energy. Additionally, excessive detergent use can cause a build-up of suds, reducing your washer’s efficiency.

Using the above tips, you may get the most life out of your laundry appliances and hopefully, identify the right time to replace them or recognize when they may need repair.