It is believed that most washing machines made in the 2000s will last for approximately 7 years while washing machines made earlier, in the late 1900s, will last for approximately 10 years, reports the BBC. This decline in the longevity of appliances such as the washing machine is due to the demand for the latest technological advances in each product.
This desire for the latest technology, even when it is not necessary, seems to be based on the way that consumers use their cell phones. Cell phones do not need to be made to last because lower prices help consumers purchase them immediately after they come out, and both consumers and companies know that new technology will be out within 1 or 2 years that will change the way the phones work. This makes consumers interested in repeatedly updating their devices and has carried over into the home goods market as well as other markets.
One such technology can be seen in the newer front-loading washing machines. Older machines were top-loading, and some modern machines are still made in this way. However, the front-loading washing machines offer numerous benefits when compared with the top-loading washing machines including using 30 to 50 percent less energy, 50 to 70 percent less detergent and 40 to 60 percent less water, reports the Office of Sustainability at Tufts University. When Tufts switched from top-loading washing machines to front-loading washing machines for all student dormitories, they were able to save approximately $23,000 in their energy, water and sewer costs. In some ways, new technology is well worth the lower average life expectancy of machines.