Wednesday, July 23, 2014

When Should You Replace?

If you are selling your home or are considering buying an older home, you might be wondering when it is appropriate to replace some of the key components of your house.  Obviously, if you want a different style of appliance, then go ahead a change it out.  But what about the furnace?  Read on for a guide on when to replace the components in your home.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping these essentials in working order and making them last as long as they should and beyond.  If the furnace has been well maintained you can expect that it should last 15 to 20 years while the A/C has a maximum lifespan of 15 years.  Even if you aren't close to these maximum numbers, keep a close watch for any of these signs that they may be failing:

  • Uneven heating from the furnace
  • Not very cold air from the A/C
  • Burning smells from the A/C
  • Very dry conditions from the furnace
  • Increased need for maintenance
  • Increasing utility bills
If it's time to replace the A/C, recommends replacing the furnace, too, if it's 15 years old or more. The reason is that they usually share a blower, and if the furnace is old, the newer, energy-efficient A/C may not work optimally with the old furnace's blower.


Obviously, active leaks in your roof are a sign that you need to replace it.  But less obvious signs include missing, broken or deformed shingles or seeing shingle granules in your gutters.  Life expectancy for most shingled roofs is only about 20 years.  Slate roofs, concrete or clay tiles can expect to last about 100 years.


Sadly, the quality in most appliances, even high end ones, has decreased as time goes on, therefore the life expectancy of them has decreased as well.  Thirty years ago, you could buy a refrigerator and expect it to last 30 years.  These days, you're lucky if your brand new appliance lasts even 5 years.  

That being said, the amount of use an appliance gets and how it is maintained will lend you the longest duration.  According to most manufacturers, gas ranges have the longest life span at 15 years.  Dryers and refrigerators are expected to last 13 years, washers - 10 years, dishwashers and microwave ovens - 9 years, compactors - 6 years.  


Experts in carpet say that the maximum lifespan of a carpet is 20 years.  After this amount of time the carpet fibers tend to wear out and can cause an indoor air quality problem. With that said, however, many carpets need replacing after 10 years from lack of cleaning, high traffic areas that are worn down and permanently stained, damage/rips/tears, and persistent odors.  

Electrical and Lighting

electrical, light switch

Copper plated wiring, copper clad aluminum, and bare copper wiring are expected to last a lifetime, whereas electrical accessories and lighting controls are expected to last 10+ years.  Regardless of the lifespan, if you notice switches working intermittently, sparks or any other unusual things with your accessories and controls, definitely replace them as this could be a fire hazard.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

No comments: