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How Long Does a Dryer Last? The Surprising Answer!

Chamber of clothes dryer

Appliances are some of the most important and expensive purchases you can make for your home. Because of their high cost, you’re probably wondering how much use you can get out of a brand-new dryer before it conks out.

On average, dryers last 10–13 years. On the shorter end, they may only last as long as 8 years with heavy use or neglect.

This is actually an impressive lifespan when you think about the abuse dryers put up with. They work tirelessly, sometimes multiple times a day, to dry your clothes. The zippers on your clothes clang around inside, plus the machine helps separate lint and dirt. They don’t use water like washers do, though, which helps contribute to a slightly longer lifespan.

house divider

Do Electric or Gas-Powered Dryers Last Longer?

Electric and gas-powered dryers have similar lifespans, and the only difference is the components involved. For instance, you may have to replace propane fittings for a gas-powered dryer, while electric dryers have fewer parts. Overall, though, you’ll get about the same use out of both types.

a white cloth dryer machine
Image Credit: Raychan, Unsplash

When to Replace Your Dryer

Every dryer wears out after a while and simply can’t be fixed, which is when you buy a new one. If your dryer is relatively new, it might be fixable, while older dryers aren’t usually worth fixing. Let’s check out some of the telltale signs that your dryer needs to be replaced.

Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Dryer:
  • It’s taking much longer to dry your clothes than it used to
  • The wiring in the dryer is worn, cracked, or peeling
  • Your dryer has shocked you
  • The dryer won’t start
  • The drum doesn’t turn
  • The dryer doesn’t warm up

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Dryer

Despite the previous section, sometimes it is worth repairing your dryer. In many cases, the fix may even be simple and fairly cheap. Also, you can prolong your dryer’s lifespan by performing regular maintenance. Let’s see how you can help your dryer last longer.

How to Prolong Your Dryer’s Lifespan:
  • Check the lint trap or filter after each load of clothes and clean it
  • The ductwork should be removed and vacuumed once a year
  • Make sure the dryer is level
  • Periodically check the hoses, wires, and other connections on your dryer
  • Avoid overloading the dryer with laundry
  • Don’t use dryer sheets
  • The dryer’s making abnormal noises like squealing, grinding, etc.

Is It Worth Fixing a Dryer?

We’d recommend repairing your malfunctioning dryer if it’s under 7 years old. After that, the odds are higher of the problem recurring, and it’s less practical from a financial standpoint as well.

Another handy rule of thumb for repair vs. replace is the “rule of 50%.” This says that if the repair bill for your appliance is more than half the cost of a new appliance, you’re better off buying a replacement.

fixing dryer drive belt
Image credit: Penyushkina, Shuttersdtock

How Long Do Other Appliances Last?

Appliances are a significant investment, and it’s important to keep track of when you bought yours, so you know when t get a new one. The last thing anyone needs is to be surprised with a broken washer or dryer! Let’s take a peek at how long some other household appliances last for reference.

Average Appliance Lifespans:
  • Washer: 10–13 years
  • Dishwasher: 7 years
  • Range stove: 10 years
  • Microwave: 6–8 years
  • Water heater: 15 years
  • Refrigerator: 7–10 years

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Conclusion

Dryers are one of the most essential items in any household, but they have issues like any other appliance. They usually last 10–13 years, but if it breaks down early, you’ll have to weigh whether it’s worth fixing or not. If the repair costs more than half the cost of a new dryer, we’d suggest just replacing it altogether.

See also: Who Invented the Hair Dryer and When? (History)


Featured Image Credit: Mark Brandon, Shutterstock

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