While earlier versions of the microwave oven were met with cool reviews due to concerns over safety, size, and price, today, more than 90 percent of households in America have either a countertop or mounted microwave oven inside the kitchen.
This versatile, compact device saves both time and energy on tasks such as cooking and reheating, but while they have come a long way since they were first introduced microwaves have a relatively short lifespan when compared to other common kitchen appliances. How long do microwaves last? we has the answer.
A Brief History of the Microwave Oven
The microwave was originally invented by accident over 70 years ago, by an engineer who was testing a military-grade magnetron and discovered it had melted a snack he was carrying in his pocket.
In 1947, the first commercial microwave was manufactured at a cost of just over $2,000 and weighing in at 750 pounds, but in 1967 Amana produced a more compact, affordable, domestic model for home use. The microwave oven of today is a feature-rich, relatively safe alternative to its predecessors that varies in price depending on the make and functionality.
How Long Should a Microwave Last?
The average microwave oven lasts about seven years with normal use, and even less with heavy use and poor maintenance. A large family may find themselves replacing their appliance every four to five years as they become more reliant on its use to heat up snacks and leftovers, or to defrost meals. This lifespan can be shortened even further if the wrong items are placed inside, which may cause irreparable damage or a risk of fire.
Signs You Need to Repair or Replace
At some point, your microwave will need to be replaced, but there are a number of situations where a repair may be the more cost-effective option. The experienced professionals at Mr. Appliance can help make your decision easier with these tips on which small appliances are worth being repaired. Signs you may need to replace the unit include:
- Cooking times are off. If your food cooks too quickly or too slowly test its power by placing one cup of water inside and turning the microwave on for two minutes. If the water isn’t piping hot when you take it out it may be time to replace the unit.
- The door seal is compromised. The door seal is an important safety feature designed to contain low levels of radiation.
- Issues with the keypad. If one or more buttons on the keypad are not responsive it may significantly hamper the functionality of your microwave. If a good cleaning doesn’t resolve the issue call Mr. Appliance for microwave repair services.
- Old age. If your microwave is approaching the 10-year mark, consider replacing it with a new, energy-efficient unit.
- Odd smells. A burning smell, smoke, or sparks are a sign something is amiss and you should immediately turn off and unplug the microwave and call for a repair.
Tips to Make Your Microwave Last Longer
Maximize your investment with these tips: