What Is the lifespan of the average microwave? How long do these miraculous quick-heating inventions last exactly? Is it 10 years or more? Or how about 5 years or fewer? Keep on reading to find out the truth about microwave lifespans!
No appliance lasts forever. However, microwaves were made to last a long time like their food heating counterparts the stove and the conventional oven. Even then, the microwave will fail over time due to the nature of all electronic appliances to have a set lifespan.
Regardless, let’s tackle this particular topic: How Long Do Microwave Ovens Last? The Lifespan of a Microwave.
How Long Do Microwave Ovens Last?
The average well-utilized or normally used microwave lasts about 7 years. If it’s seldom used, it should last at least 10 years as many microwaves have a 10-year warranty attached to them. With heavy use and poor maintenance, it could last for less than 5 years or even 1 year.
A large family might end up replacing this device every 4-5 years as they become more dependent on using it for heating up leftovers and snacks as well as frozen meat defrosting. This lifespan can be further shortened by the placement of the wrong objects like a metal tray, which might result in fire.
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Take care of your microwave in order to make it last longer than a decade. Make sure to only put the right containers inside it. Don’t forget to clean up after it so that its interior doesn’t rust.
Should You Replace or Repair Your Failing Microwave?
Sooner or later, your microwave will require replacement. You need to be aware of the symptoms and signs that it’s breaking down. You should also be aware of which of these signs merely indicates a need for repair. Go with the more cost-effective solution every time.
If your microwave repair bill ends up much bigger than buying a new microwave then you might as well buy a new microwave. If repairing it will yield you a longer-lasting microwave down the line then go with that solution instead.
Signs You Need to Repair or Replace the Microwave
Here are the signs that your microwave is failing or broken.
Cooking Time is Off
If your food cooks too slowly or quickly, test the power by placing a cup of water inside the microwave and turning it on for 2 minutes. You should have boiling water by the time you take it out of the unit. Otherwise, the device might be on the fritz.
A microwave that’s unable to control its power level can also compromise food recipes or ruin attempts at properly defrosting your frozen meats.
Compromised Door Seal
The seal works in order to contain low radiation levels. If it’s damaged you need to replace your unit post-haste.
The door seal ensures that the microwave radiation emitted by the magnetron of your unit remains safely inside the microwave oven interior or cavity instead of outside, where it can damage your face or your eyes.
If the keypad, touchpad, or buttons of your microwave ends up unresponsive, you’ll end up having trouble running your microwave oven. The buttons that typically fail first include the start button and the minute button (among the most used of the buttons).
If cleaning the buttons out doesn’t resolve the issue then it might be time to go to Amazon or eBay and hunt for a replacement microwave.
Old-Age and Odd Smells
If your microwave is a decade old, consider replacing it with a new unit that’s energy-efficient. An off-warranty microwave will typically suffer from the signs and symptoms of failure outlined above because it’s also beyond its normal lifespan of 7 years.
If you smell a weird scent or see smoke and sparks then these serve as signs that something’s wrong with your device and you should immediately turn it off or unplug it. It might require repair or replacement when push comes to shove.
Tips to Make Your Microwave Last Longer
Maximize your microwave investment with the following maintenance and care tips.
- Air Circulation: Always make sure that enough air adequately circulates around the microwave by proper placement and no walls blocking its vents.
- Surge Protector: Electricity surges has damaged many an appliances out there, particularly aged ones like refrigerators and microwave ovens. A surge protector should safeguard the electrical components of your microwave and the compressor of your fridge.
- Metal Objects: Avoid the placement of metal objects like a screwdriver, wrench, aluminum foil container, a wad of aluminum foil, or even a whole cellphone inside the microwave. It can cause arcing or electrical sparks to form that damage the unit itself.
- Clean Properly: Clean the microwave after every use to avoid food contamination and to ensure its longevity. Use warm water and soap for cleaning and microwave a lemon and water solution for steamy deodorizing baths.
- Don’t Turn on Microwave While Empty: The food or beverages you microwave absorb the radiation bouncing around inside the unit. Without them, the short-frequency radiowaves will end up bouncing and overheating the device instead.
Neglecting to Clean Your Microwave Shortens Its Lifespan Significantly
Like in the case of your car or your fridge, neglect and poor hygiene will ultimately spell the demise of your microwave. If you’re regularly instead of occasionally using it, the least you could do for it in return is to clean after your every mess, from splatters to food bits.
It’s a tedious chore, yes. However, if you wish for your microwave to last for all of its warranty of 10 years and beyond that, you should definitely maintain it properly. Clean it every time the same way you have to start your car every morning to keep its engine and battery running.
The Final Verdict
Chances are, you love your microwave and came across this article to figure out how long you can use it until it breaks down naturally. It’s the unsung hero we got and don’t deserve that keeps us supplied with leftover feats, speedy meals, and late-night popcorn snacks every time.
Regardless, a well-maintained microwave can last you for 7-10 years and a heavily used microwave can last you 4-5 years. A poorly maintained and abused microwave can break down within a year, especially if you use it to microwave metal or other microwave-unsafe objects.
- Mr. Appliance, “How Long Do Microwave Ovens Last? The Lifespan of a Microwave“, MrAppliance.ca, October 22, 2019
- Meghan Jones, “11 Ways You’re Shortening the Life of Your Microwave“, RD.com December 1, 2020