Your washing machine is one of those appliances you really can't live without, and if you have children, it's an appliance that likely gets a lot of use. If your washing machine has been acting up, you may be wondering whether it pays to replace it with a newer model. But if your machine is not that old, repairs could make sense.
How long do washing machines last?
The average lifespan of a washing machine is 11 years, according to HowStuffWorks. But the amount of time yours stays functional will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The quality of the model.
- The amount of ongoing usage your washer is subject to.
How much does it cost to replace a washing machine?
The amount you'll spend on a washing machine will depend largely on the model and the size. If you have a larger family, a larger washing machine could cut your housekeeping time in half (at least on the laundry front).
You have two choices when it comes to getting a new washing machine:
- Top-loading machines usually have a smaller capacity than front-loading machines, but they tend to be less expensive. They typically start around $350, reports Angie's List.
- Front-loading machines tend to offer higher capacity, but their wash cycles are often longer, and they're also more subject to mold (an issue that's somewhat easily mitigated, if you're willing to clean out your washer every month or so). Front-loading washers usually range from $700 to $1,000, per Angie's List.
How to make your washing machine last longer
A little effort on your part could result in more years of usage out of your washer. For one thing, don't overload it. Doing so not only increases your risk of less-than-fully clean clothes, but it could also cause your machine to work harder than it needs to, thereby stressing its motor and other components and causing them to wear down more quickly.
Furthermore, be judicious with detergent. If you overdo it, you'll actually make your washer worker harder than necessary just to clear out those suds, in turn wearing down its parts.
When do washing machine repairs make sense?
Appliance repair professionals usually charge a minimum just to come out and make a service call. As such, a fairly simple repair could cost you $300, which is a lot to pay if you have a top-loading machine that can be replaced for, say, $500. If your washer is fairly new and the repair you're looking at is cheap relative to its replacement cost, then you might as well pay to have it serviced, especially if you’re happy with the way your washer cleans your clothes.
But if your washing machine is older -- say, close to 10 years old -- replacing it almost always makes sense. And that way, you'll have your pick of newer models that could make an otherwise unpleasant household task just a bit easier on you.