What is the Average Life of a Microwave? Must Know

The average life of a microwave is about eight years, depending on how often and how well you use and maintain it. Microwaves are convenient and versatile appliances that can help you cook, reheat, and defrost food in minutes. But like any other appliance, they have a limited lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced. How can you tell if your microwave is nearing the end of its life? And how can you extend its life as much as possible? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

Factors That Affect Microwave Lifespan

There are several factors that can affect how long your microwave will last, such as:

  • Usage frequency. The more you use your microwave, the more wear and tear it will experience. If you use your microwave multiple times a day, every day, it will likely have a shorter lifespan than if you use it occasionally. According to a survey by Statista1, the average American household uses the microwave for about 20% of their main meals. This means that your microwave may last longer or shorter than the average, depending on your usage habits.
  • Maintenance. How well you take care of your microwave can also make a difference in its longevity. Regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and avoiding metal objects and other incompatible materials can help prevent damage and malfunctions. On the other hand, neglecting to clean your microwave, blocking the vents, or microwaving unsafe items can cause overheating, sparks, fires, or other problems that can shorten your microwave’s life.
  • Type. There are different types of microwaves, such as countertop, over-the-range, and built-in models. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and may have different lifespans. For example, countertop microwaves are easy to install and move, but they may take up more space and be more exposed to spills and stains. Over-the-range microwaves save space and have ventilation features, but they may be harder to install and repair. Built-in microwaves are sleek and convenient, but they may be more expensive and require professional installation and maintenance.
  • Brand and model. The quality and durability of your microwave may also depend on the brand and model you choose. Some brands and models may have better ratings, reviews, and warranties than others, indicating their reliability and performance. Some brands and models may also have more features, functions, and settings than others, which may affect their complexity and efficiency. You may want to do some research and comparison before buying a new microwave, and look for one that suits your needs and budget.
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Signs You Need to Repair or Replace Your Microwave

Sometimes, your microwave may show signs that it needs to be repaired or replaced. Some of these signs are:

  • Cooking times are off. If your food takes longer or shorter than usual to cook, reheat, or defrost, it may indicate that your microwave is losing its power and efficiency. You can test your microwave’s power by placing a cup of water inside and turning it on for two minutes. If the water is not boiling or very hot, it may be time to repair or replace your microwave.
  • The door seal is compromised. The door seal, or gasket, is an important safety feature that prevents microwave radiation from leaking out. If the seal is loose, damaged, or dirty, it may pose a health risk and affect your microwave’s performance. You should inspect and clean the seal regularly, and replace it if it is worn out or broken.
  • The keypad is unresponsive. If some or all of the buttons on the keypad do not work, it may make your microwave unusable or difficult to use. This may be caused by dirt, moisture, or electrical issues. You should try to clean the keypad and check the wiring, and if that does not work, you may need to replace the keypad or the whole microwave.
  • The microwave is old. If your microwave is approaching or exceeding its average lifespan, it may be time to replace it with a new, more energy-efficient, and more advanced model. Older microwaves may have outdated features, lower performance, and higher energy consumption than newer ones. They may also be more prone to breakdowns and repairs, which may cost more than buying a new one.
  • The microwave smells, smokes, or sparks. These are serious signs that your microwave is malfunctioning and may pose a fire or safety hazard. You should immediately turn off and unplug your microwave, and call a professional for help. Depending on the cause and extent of the problem, you may need to repair or replace your microwave.
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Tips to Maximize Your Microwave’s Lifespan

If you want to make your microwave last as long as possible, here are some tips to follow:

  • Clean your microwave regularly. Spills, stains, and grease can build up inside your microwave and cause odors, bacteria, and damage. You should wipe your microwave after each use, and deep clean it at least once a month. You can use a mild soap and water solution, or a mixture of vinegar and water, to clean your microwave. You can also use a lemon or baking soda to remove odors and stains.
  • Use a surge protector. Power surges can damage the electrical components of your microwave and cause it to malfunction or stop working. You should plug your microwave into a surge protector to protect it from voltage fluctuations and spikes. You should also avoid using your microwave during storms or power outages, as these may cause power surges.
  • Avoid metal objects and other incompatible materials. Metal objects, such as utensils, foil, or twist ties, can cause sparks, fires, or explosions in your microwave. You should also avoid microwaving materials that are not microwave-safe, such as plastic, paper, or glass, as these may melt, burn, or shatter. You should only use microwave-safe containers and dishes, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings.
  • Ensure adequate air circulation. Your microwave needs proper ventilation to prevent overheating and damage. You should leave enough space around your microwave, and avoid blocking the vents or fans. You should also check and clean the vents and fans regularly, and replace the filters if you have an over-the-range microwave.
  • Call a professional when needed. If your microwave has a problem that you cannot fix yourself, you should call a qualified technician for help. Do not attempt to open, repair, or modify your microwave on your own, as this may void your warranty, cause more damage, or expose you to radiation or electric shock. You should also consult a professional before buying, installing, or disposing of a microwave, as they may have specific requirements and regulations.
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Conclusion

A microwave is a useful and convenient appliance that can make your life easier and save you time and energy. However, it is not meant to last forever, and you may need to repair or replace it at some point. By knowing the factors that affect your microwave’s lifespan, the signs that indicate a problem, and the tips to extend its life, you can make the most of your microwave and enjoy its benefits for as long as possible.