Large appliances don't last nearly as long as they used to
March 20, 2017 9:25 PM   Subscribe

This is especially about refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, and air conditioners. Some details about how and why major appliances are worse built-- lack of competition and over-focus on energy efficiency. Do read the comments-- there's more from people who do repairs and discussion of whether it's just that we only know about the older appliances that haven't broken down. (The answer is no, there's a real difference in quality.) Emotional Durability Design-- a book about designing things that people want to keep. It looks promising, but I haven't read it yet.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz (5 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Heya, this is a fine topic, but could do with better links and framing, for example it's not good practice to post a full disssertation that even you say you haven't read -- LobsterMitten

When I was young, large appliances were called 'durable goods' and designed to only need minor repairs ( if any! ) in a 10 year period. Then with planned obsolescence a 5 year period was considered 'durable goods' now it's 3 years. I have phones I've owned longer!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:36 PM on March 20, 2017

That turned out to be an ad, but I still found it interesting and informative.
posted by latkes at 9:44 PM on March 20, 2017

Here's my rule for determining how long something will last:
Take the duration of the manufacturer's warranty, then add a day.
posted by FallowKing at 9:44 PM on March 20, 2017

Heh. I was responsible for about two dozen field technicians during Maytag's Neptune Washer fiasco, and... yep. It was just awful. We really don't make 'em like we used to. That whole thing was a predictable mess, and yet.
posted by mordax at 9:47 PM on March 20, 2017

The article - well, ad, yes - makes almost no mention of energy efficiency, and only as an aside before going back to the waste created by devices with short lifespans? I'm not sure why a complaint about an "over-focus on energy efficiency", which doesn't seem to even be claimed to exist in the actual content, is above the fold here.
posted by kafziel at 9:48 PM on March 20, 2017

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