Here’s How Long Microwaves Last (4 Aging Microwave Signs)

How long should a microwave last

Does your microwave look like it’s on its last legs? Has that left you wondering how long it should last? Then check out this article to see the average microwave’s life expectancy and more!

Here’s how long the average microwave should last:

How the Microwave Is UsedHow Long It Should Last
Heavy use by a large family. Poor maintenance.4-5 years
Normal use by an average family. Good maintenance.7-8 years
Infrequent use by a single person or a couple. Good maintenance.Up to 10 years

Have you just purchased a new microwave? Then perhaps you’re wondering what you can do to keep it in like-new condition for as long as possible.

What maintenance should we all be doing to our microwaves? And what signs can you look out for if you think yours needs replacing? Take a look at the extended microwave guide below to find the answers to these questions and more!

Microwave in use
This guide will help you extend the lifespan of your microwave!

How Long Should a Microwave Last?

A microwave is a lifesaver in the kitchen. It warms the rice while you continue cooking on the hob. It reheats food when your guests are a little late for dinner. It even keeps your kids occupied with their favorite buttery popcorn and hot chocolate with marshmallows on top. It truly is a godsend.

But unfortunately, these rectangular sous-chefs don’t last a lifetime. In fact, the average lifespan of a microwave is just 8 years. But in many busy households, a microwave doesn’t usually see past its 5th birthday.

All this may have you wondering how long your microwave will last. To find out, confirm what kind of microwave user you and your family are. You will then be able to see how long you can expect your electrical right-hand-man to stick with you in the kitchen.

Heavy Use

How much do you and your family use your microwave? Do you:

  • Have a large family (more than 4)?
  • Use the microwave constantly throughout the day to heat snacks and defrost food?
  • Rarely carry out maintenance on the microwave?

Is your microwave constantly being used throughout the day? Then it will only last about 4-5 years. This is especially true if you do not keep up with the maintenance of the microwave.

But what does good microwave maintenance involve? Take a look at the information below to find out.

Good maintenance for your microwave means:

  • Immediately cleaning up any spills.
  • Periodically degreasing the grease filter.
  • Wiping moisture off of the microwave while you cook in the kitchen.
  • Calling an electrician when you have a problem with the microwave.

Even if your microwave is in constant use, you can extend its lifespan by at least a year with good maintenance.

Cleaning microwave
With good maintenance your microwaves lifespan can be extended!

Normal Use

How often you use your microwave will affect its lifespan. Do you:

  • Have an average-size family (about 4 people)?
  • Use the microwave a couple of times a day to heat snacks and defrost food?
  • Keep up with the maintenance of the microwave?

If your microwave usage falls into the “normal” category then you can expect yours to last about 7 years. It could even last up to 8 years if you follow a good microwave maintenance schedule.

Infrequent Use

Do you seldom use your microwave? Do you:

  • Live on your own or with one other person?
  • Use the microwave just once or twice a day?
  • Keep up with the maintenance of the microwave?

Does your microwave usage fall into the “infrequent” use category? If so, then you can expect yours to last up to 10 years. This is especially true if you keep up with a good maintenance schedule.

How to Make a Microwave Last Longer

Electrical appliances for the kitchen are expensive. So, you are no doubt keen to keep your microwave ticking over for as long as possible. What can you do to extend the life expectancy of your microwave? Take a look at the information below to find out:

ProblemEffect On the MicrowaveSolution
Spills– Food spillages inside the microwave can create hotspots when it’s in use. These hotspots can damage the interior of the microwave.– Clean up spills ASAP.
Moisture– Condensation in the air can build up on top of your microwave while you cook. This could cause damage to the electrics in the microwave.– Keep the kitchen ventilated while you cook.
– Turn on the exhaust fan or open a window while you cook.
– Wipe down the microwave when moisture builds up on it.
Greasy filters– Grease builds up on the grease filters under the microwave. The build up of grease could hamper the efficiency of the unit.  – Periodically clean the grease filters with hot water and detergent.
Running on emptyRunning the microwave while empty could cause burn marks and hotspots.– Never run the microwave on empty.
Metals– Metal in a microwave could cause it to spark and burn.– Avoid putting metals into a microwave.
Weak door hinges– Slamming the microwave door could make the hinges weaken. This would eventually create an unnecessary repair.– Close the microwave door instead of slamming it. This will prolong the lifespan of the hinges.
DIY fixes– Attempting to repair a microwave on your own could be dangerous. There are deadly electrical charges inside it.– Always call a professional to fix a problem with your microwave.
Repairman with microwave
Attempting to repair your microwave yourself can be dangerous so always call a professional

What Are the Signs a Microwave Is Going Bad?

Do you suspect that your microwave is at death’s door? A microwave is a super handy appliance to have in the kitchen. So, you’ll no doubt want to replace it before it kicks the bucket on its own. But, which signs should you look out for that will let you know that it has come to the end of its life? You can take a look at some of them below.

1.   Worn-Out Buttons

Are the buttons on your microwave a little worn out? Do you have to shove your finger onto the keypad with all your might for it to react? Or have some of the buttons and programs stopped working completely? If so, then it’s likely that your keypad is just a few jabs of a finger away from failing to respond altogether.

2.   Slow Heating

Who doesn’t love juicy slow-cooked pork? That’s right, every household needs a slow cooker. But what you don’t need is for that slow cooker to be your microwave.

Your microwave should heat things quickly. It should be able to turn a mug of cold water piping hot in just two minutes. Is your microwave taking longer than usual to heat meals? Then the likelihood is that it’s about to give up the ghost.

3.   Loud Operating Noises

Your microwave should operate while making no more than a low hum in the background. It shouldn’t be any louder than 55-59 dBA. (That’s just quieter than a normal conversation but louder than your bathroom exhaust fan.)  Does your microwave:

  • Rattle?
  • Clang?
  • Buzz?

If so, then, you’ve guessed it, it’s time to look for a replacement.

4.   Over 10 Years Old

Is your microwave over 10 years old? I know that everyone loves a classic. And they say if it’s not broke don’t fix it. But, even if your microwave is still in good condition you should start looking for a replacement. Why’s that? Take a look at a few reasons below:

  • New microwaves are more energy efficient. A new one could save you some money on your electric bill.
  • New microwaves have the most up-to-date smart features.
  • It is more expensive in the long run to repair a microwave than it is to buy a new one. Save yourself the hassle of trying to find discontinued replacement parts on the internet. Treat yourself to a new model!


The average lifespan of a microwave is just 8 years. But we all want our microwaves to last as long as physically possible. This could be a little tricky if your microwave is in constant use throughout the day. I’m sure this article has shown you some methods you can use to extend the lifespan of your microwave.

If this article has helped you, then why not check out some of our other articles and free guides? You could even sign up for our email list!

Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more