Solved! How Long Do Ovens Last?
They’re one of the most-used appliances in most kitchens, but how long do ovens last, and is there anything homeowners can do to help extend their life?
Q: We just purchased our first home and maxed out our savings on the down payment. The appliances in the home are fairly old, and I’m a little concerned about them breaking down and not being able to afford to replace them. The oven in particular appears to be quite old and worn; how long do ovens last, and how can I help ours last at least a few more years before it needs to be replaced?
A: Congratulations! Buying your first home can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be quite anxiety-inducing when you’ve drained your savings to help pay for such a large purchase. It’s no wonder you’re thinking about expensive kitchen appliances—ovens aren’t exactly cheap to replace, and for many homeowners they are a necessity.
So exactly how long do ovens last? Luckily, they have a relatively long life expectancy and can last up to 15 years with proper care and maintenance, so it’s possible you’ll have a few years with your old oven before you need to worry about it. If you’re still concerned, there are some ways you can add an extra layer of protection and lessen the likelihood you’ll have to pay out of pocket for a repair, including home warranties.
Ovens have fewer moving parts than other appliances, which means their average lifespan can be around 15 years.
How long should an oven last? The amount of time major appliances last depends on the type of appliance, but one of the main reasons an appliance will reach the end of its lifespan is because its parts begin to fail. Appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers have a lot of moving parts that help them function, which means there’s more that can go wrong. Ovens, on the other hand, have relatively few working parts. That means the average lifespan of an oven is longer than other appliances—an oven can last as long as 15 years or more, depending on the type and brand of oven chosen.
Gas ovens tend to have a longer lifespan than electric ovens.
When deciding on what type of oven to purchase, homeowners will likely weigh the pros and cons of a gas vs. an electric stove. One unexpected benefit of a gas oven is that it will generally last longer than an electric one. This is because gas ovens have even fewer parts than electric ovens and can also be easier to maintain. Gas ovens also heat up faster, which means there’s less stress put on the components whenever the appliance is in use. Gas ovens can also have lower operating costs since natural gas costs less than electricity in many parts of the country, but on the flip side, they may contribute to climate change through gas emissions. Electric ovens are typically considered safer than gas ovens since there’s no open flame that could accidentally start a fire. A homeowner will want to weigh the slightly shorter electric oven life expectancy against the benefits a gas oven offers to determine whether to choose gas or electric.
So how long do gas ovens last? It depends on the brand and usage, but in general gas ovens can last an average of 15 years. How long do electric ovens last? Their lifespan is a little shorter than that of gas ovens, but still fairly long for a kitchen appliance at 13 years—though a used electric oven is likely to have a shorter lifespan, especially if the homeowner isn’t sure of its exact age. Homeowners will want to weigh the pros and cons of each type of oven, including potential life expectancy, when choosing the type of oven for their home.
The oven’s initial quality will affect how long it can potentially last.
A cheap oven may be a tempting purchase for a homeowner outfitting their kitchen with new appliances, but skimping on quality can lead to a shorter oven lifespan. Homeowners will want to do their research to determine which brands within their budget have the highest-quality ovens. While a $6,000 oven from a manufacturer known for making ovens may be out of reach for the average homeowner, it will likely last longer than a $300 oven from an unknown brand. However, that may not always be the case, since even the best oven manufacturers will produce the occasional lemon—that’s why it’s important for homeowners to look into an extended manufacturer warranty or a home warranty as an additional layer of protection.
When shopping for an oven, it’s a good idea for homeowners to ask trusted friends and family members for recommendations, as well as read reviews and do research on the best convection oven or the best wall oven that will work with their budget.
A frequently used oven will likely have a shorter lifespan than one that’s used only occasionally.
In general, the more use an oven gets, the shorter its lifespan will be. An oven that is used daily—or even multiple times a day—has to work harder than one that is only used a few times a week. Frequent usage means an oven will experience wear and tear more quickly, which can contribute to a shorter life.
Homeowners who are looking to decrease their oven usage may consider additional appliances, such as a microwave, toaster oven, or air fryer, which tend to work faster than ovens and use less energy. How long do microwave ovens last? It depends on the type of microwave, but they only last around 9 years—however, it’s much cheaper to replace a microwave oven than a freestanding or wall-mounted oven. Homeowners can also implement some energy-saving measures such as cooking multiple dishes at once to avoid overusing the oven.
Keeping your oven clean can help maintain the liner, which can extend the oven’s life.
A clean oven functions more efficiently than a dirty one. When an oven has a buildup of grease and other spills, it can cause the oven liner to wear prematurely. A dirty oven will also need to work harder to reach and maintain its temperature, which can cause additional wear and tear. Learning how to clean an oven properly can help homeowners increase the average life of an oven. Homeowners can keep their oven clean by wiping up spills as soon as they occur and by frequently wiping the exterior of the oven door and the door gaskets. They will also want to thoroughly clean the inside of their oven at least once every 3 months to keep it in good condition.
Some homeowners may put foil on their oven drip pans, on the stovetop, or under the baking elements to try to keep it clean, but it’s not advised to do so. The high heat can cause the foil to melt, which can permanently damage the oven or cause the thermometer to malfunction.
Manual cleaning is recommended, even if the oven has a self-cleaning function.
Some ovens come with a self-cleaning function, which can seem like a great feature for homeowners who hate cleaning. Self-cleaning ovens work by using intense heat to burn off food and grime, leaving the homeowner to simply wipe up the ash once the cycle is complete. However, this feature can overload the appliance with heat and may cause premature wear and tear. It can also produce excessive smoke, so homeowners will want to make sure they properly ventilate their home if they do use this feature on occasion.
Homeowners will also want to properly ventilate the room before using an oven cleaner, as these cleaners can emit harmful fumes. It’s also advised that homeowners wear protective gloves while manually cleaning the oven to protect their skin, and that they completely wipe up all remaining cleaner from the interior of the oven before using it again.
Regular oven inspections can help identify potential issues so they can be addressed before they become larger problems.
If a homeowner notices that their oven hasn’t been functioning properly, it’s advisable for them to schedule an inspection with an appliance expert to determine whether any repairs are needed. Professional appliance repair technicians can identify potential problems with an oven early, which means the homeowner can have them repaired before they become much larger issues.
Some homeowners choose to have their oven and other appliances inspected annually by one of the best appliance repair services to keep on top of any required repairs, but others wait until they notice a problem before scheduling an inspection. Some examples of problems that may require attention include increased baking times, unusual smells, and an improperly functioning oven door. A technician can check the oven’s gaskets, door hinges, wiring, and controls to ensure they are working properly and can perform any necessary repairs at the same time.
Oven repairs can help extend the life of the appliance.
While an oven can last an average of 13 to 15 years, that lifespan can be drastically reduced if there are mechanical problems with the appliance. If the oven is still fairly new, the homeowner may find that repairing it is the most cost-effective solution—and in addition, repairs can help extend the oven’s life.
For example, a broken door seal or gasket can prevent the oven from heating up and maintaining temperature. Door seal repair or replacement is fairly simple and inexpensive and can help ensure that the oven is functioning properly, which can extend its life. Appliance repair costs for an oven range from $250 to $400 depending on the problem, the appliance age, and the required fix.
If your oven is nearing the end of its life expectancy, it may be more cost-effective to replace rather than repair.
While it might make financial sense for a homeowner to repair a relatively new oven, it’s likely more cost-effective to replace the appliance if it’s reaching the end of its expected life. Homeowners will want to get at least three quotes from reputable appliance repair companies to determine how much a repair is likely to cost. If the average repair cost is 50 percent or more than the cost of a new oven, it’s typically better to go with the latter option—especially if the old oven is reaching the end of its life expectancy. However, for homeowners whose budget won’t allow for a new oven, repairing it can help squeeze a few more years out of it to give them time to save up for a replacement.
A home warranty can offer coverage to help offset the costs of oven repair or replacement.
Home warranties often come into play when a home is being sold, as many sellers purchase a home warranty to entice buyers to make an offer. A home warranty can cover whole-home systems as well as appliances, and it can help offset the costs to repair (and sometimes replace) certain covered items, which can be beneficial for new homeowners who just used the majority of their savings on a down payment and are beginning to wonder, “How old is my oven and when will it need to be replaced?” But home warranties aren’t only beneficial for new homeowners; they can also offer protection to existing homeowners.
What is a home warranty, and how does it work? If the homeowner has a problem with their oven (or another covered appliance), they can file a claim with their home warranty provider, pay an agreed-upon service fee, and have a certified technician come out to inspect the appliance. The technician will either make the necessary repairs or recommend replacement—and some of the best home warranty companies like American Home Shield or Choice Home Warranty may cover some or all of the cost to replace an appliance that’s reached the end of its life and is unable to be repaired.
Home warranty cost is generally quite affordable, and some home warranty companies will provide coverage on even old appliances if a new homeowner purchases a policy when they first move in. Homeowners will need to pay an annual premium for the policy and also a service fee if they make a claim. Service fees are set when the homeowner takes out the home warranty policy, and they are often less than the homeowner would pay if contracting a repair technician themselves. While a homeowner with substantial savings may be able to pay out of pocket to repair or replace their whole-home systems or appliances, many homeowners don’t have that luxury and may be caught off guard by an unexpected breakdown. A home warranty can help provide extra assurance to homeowners that they will be able to handle appliance breakdowns without needing to max out their credit cards or take out a personal loan to cover the cost.