Signs It's Time to Update Your Appliances by Room

woman with broken washing machine

From cleaning loads of laundry to keeping your perishables from spoiling, the appliances in your home get heavy use. It’s easy to forget that these appliances will need replacing until they completely stop working, but you’ll thank yourself if you recognize the signs that your appliances are ready to be updated or replaced before they actually break down.

Knowing the signs that it’s time to swap these important household items out allows you to be proactive about doing so. This might allow you to make less costly repairs, or transition smoothly from one device to another, and it mitigates the chance of a potentially dangerous situation—like a burned out appliance starting a fire in your home.

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Fridge

Arguably one of your most important home appliances, your fridge has a few ways of telling you it's ready to be replaced. First, if you are noticing condensation on your fridge or freezer, it may indicate that your rubber sealing mechanism is not working as it should. To test whether this is the case, close your fridge door on a small piece of paper, then tug on the sheet. If it slips out easily, it means your sealing mechanism needs fixing. If it doesn’t, the condensation is a sign of something deeper.

Your fridge sounding louder than usual is another sign to look out for. If yours seems to be running noisily more often than normal, it’s worth getting the motor checked out.

Another bad sign is your fridge feeling hot to the touch. This rare situation can indicate a serious issue, likely originating at the coils of the fridge.

Finally, if the temperature is as cold as it can be, but you notice food spoiling faster than it should, that's typically a sign the old cooling system is finally worn out.

long haired woman using a hair dryer

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Hair Dryer

Hair dryers are typically portable and relatively inexpensive—convenient qualities when it comes time for a replacement. These appliances have a lifespan of about five years, but depending on quality or usage, many require replacing sooner. If your hair takes a long time to dry, you hear a rattling noise while drying, or the handle gets extremely hot during use, it’s time to replace your dryer with a newer model. Don't mess around with this one. It's a small device, but it can start a major fire if it's pushed too far past its limits.

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers usually have a lifespan of about a decade. Prior to that, signs you need to replace yours include leaking water, a door that no longer latches, water failing to heat, or left standing after a cycle completes, and the machine making unusual noises during a cycle.

If you notice rust, cracks, or other dents, they may be merely cosmetic, but they're signals to note. Finally and most obviously, if your dishes are coming out dirty, your dishwasher needs at least repair, and possibly replacement.

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Garbage Disposal

Excessive noise during use, the need for frequent resets, an increase in clogs, the inability for the mechanism to turn on or off on its own, excessive odor, and leaks are all signs you should replace your disposal. In general, you can expect about 12 years of use from your disposal without major repairs.

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Shower Head

Shower heads can last quite a long time, but decreases in water pressure, constant dripping, sediment buildup, or the growth of black mold are all telltale signs that you need to upgrade. Luckily, this can be done fairly quickly and without breaking the bank.

a leaking washing machine

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Washing Machine

On average, these heavily used appliances can withstand about ten years of use. Signs that you need to upgrade include leaking, strange noises during a wash cycle, inadequate water filling the drum during washing, or violent shaking or movement during a cycle.

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Dryer

Dryers usually last a bit longer than washing machines (around 13 years). If you notice an excess of noise during a dry cycle, clothes failing to dry completely, a burning smell during use, or any signs of a fire, it’s definitely time to look into replacing this appliance.

Signs You Should Upgrade Your Vacuum

If you notice a significant loss of suction, strange noises during use, blocked filters, or a burning smell, it’s time to invest in a new vacuum, or at least a motor repair. It’s tough to say the average lifespan of this appliance, as there are so many different makes, models, and price points.