5 household items that might be due for an upgrade

How often should you be upgrading your home appliances and electronics? If you’ve lived in the same home for more than a decade, you could be right on schedule. Many household essentials have a 10-year lifespan, so here are five to keep an eye on to ensure optimal performance.

  1. Refrigerator: The average refrigerator can last 10 to 12 years, so its technology may be out of date when it comes time to replace it. If yours is older, upgrading to a newer model can make for more efficient energy consumption and help lower your bills.
  2. Washer and dryer: You can expect your washer and dryer set to last for 10 to 13 years, but if your laundry machines are leaking, making strange noises or taking a long time to dry small loads, it’s time to upgrade. While these appliances are an investment, you could be saving money in the end, as efficient use of water and electricity are a concern for older models.
  3. Microwave: High-usage kitchen appliances tend to wear out faster, and your microwave is no exception. The average microwave lasts about seven years with normal use. If your food is burning or the plate isn’t rotating correctly, head to your local appliance store.
  4. Laptop: The average laptop in Canada is four years old, but a well-maintained laptop has a lifespan of about three to five years. If your laptop is slowing down and struggles with basic tasks, it’s time for a replacement. If you’re in the market for a new laptop and not sure where to start, look for a model that has the Intel Evo sticker. It’s a quality assurance badge that can help take the guesswork out of buying.
  5. Television: The industry standard for an LED television set is 100,000 hours, or about 10 years, however, the higher you set your contrast and brightness, the more power your TV uses. Over time, this decreases your TV’s longevity, meaning you’ll need to replace it sooner.

Still not sure whether you should repair or replace? Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow when something goes wrong with your home technology: if it’s more than halfway through its lifespan and will cost half as much to repair as to replace, it usually makes sense to go for the replacement. You may save headaches, more costly repairs and money in the long run. Just be sure to recycle your old devices to help reduce your carbon footprint.

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