Whether it is used for reheating a bowl of leftovers, warming up beverages that have turned cold, defrosting a piece of frozen food, or quickly cooking a nice ready-to-eat meal of ramen noodles, the microwave has become one of the most convenient kitchen appliances trusted by home cooks today.
Unfortunately, like every other electronic device, your microwave oven wasn’t built to last forever. Thus, at some point or the other, it will need to be replaced. It’s only a matter of “when?”
However, before you toss out your loyal cooking box, there are certain signs you should take note of. These cues indicate that it’s time to start thinking of retiring your long-serving microwave.
Here are 6 signs that your microwave oven needs to be replaced.
1. Takes longer to cook
One of the most obvious things you might notice about your microwave is the time it takes to cook. Generally, part of the major selling points of microwaves is that they take much less time to cook.
So, if you discover that your microwave is heating food much slower than usual (or not at all), then something is definitely off. To be sure, you can give your microwave’s power a test.
Do this by pouring water into a mug and placing it in the microwave. Set the cooking appliance to high power for a couple of minutes. If it doesn’t get scalding hot, then it may be time to start budgeting for a new microwave.
2. It makes an awful sound when cooking
A good microwave needs to be relatively quiet enough (emitting no more than a gentle hum) while cooking. However, if the appliance suddenly starts getting loud and produces unusual buzzing, grinding, or rattling noises, then something is amiss.
You should first check the turntable as well as the fan blades. A piece of leftover food or a simple misalignment should be easy to fix. But if these aren’t the case, then it’s possible there’s a bigger problem at hand.
Getting a new microwave just might be your best solution to the problem.
3. The keypad stopped responding
One of the most integral features of the microwave is the keypad. Consequently, things may have started going down the mud if it fails to respond when you punch in the start button, power setting, cooking time, etc.
On some occasions, it may be that the keypad only requires some simple cleaning for it to start functioning again. If after cleaning and it still won’t respond, then the problem may be bigger than we think. So, start making plans to bring in a replacement.
4. It sparks, emits a burning smell, and smoke
Although this can tend to be embarrassing when it happens, it is actually a sign of a serious and urgent problem. That’s why you will need to stop every other thing you’re doing and shut off the microwave. Be sure to unplug it from the mains as well.
There’s no room for exceptions when you notice sparks or see smoke, or smell something burning from your microwave. Your microwave is basically falling apart right in front of you and your next action should be to get a new one.
5. The door fails to shut properly
A microwave whose door doesn’t completely seal when shut is another cause for concern. The door of microwaves has been designed to securely seal when closed.
Not many people are aware of this but it is a very important safety feature built that way to help keep the appliance’s radiation contained. Thus, if the door appears cracked, broken, or severely worn, then it is just enough to warrant a new microwave.
6. It is over a decade old
Usually, when microwaves are manufactured, the makers estimate that the appliances should last up to 10 years.
Thus, if your microwave surpasses the 10-year expected lifespan and still appears to be in decent working order, even if it was the best microwave oven at the time you acquired it, you should still consider upgrading it by getting a new one.
The reason is that technologies improve over time and lots of appliances are built to become much more energy-efficient.
Our Recommendation: The Best Microwave Oven
If you’ve noticed something is not quite right with your microwave or you’re just thinking of buying a microwave then check out our recommended picks.
We know how hard it is to make a decision on which cooking appliance to choose with all the options available out there.
That’s why we’ve selected only the best microwave oven for your space and cooking needs.
The Royal Microwave (RMW20BAP) conveniently handles all your basic cooking tasks while balancing on the counter space. If you’re looking for the best microwave oven with a roomy capacity, then opt for this one.
The digital microwave oven comes with 6 power levels that can be adjusted based on your cooking needs. In addition, the unit also comes with a dynamic speed cooking feature that ensures your meals are prepared and ready in no time.
Affordable and attractive, the Royal Microwave (RMW20BHP) offers a decent amount of power just good enough to cook your favorite dishes. It has a relatively portable size that makes it a perfect fit for most homes and apartments.
This is the best microwave oven you can get if you’re on a tight budget. The manual cooking unit features 6-microwave power levels. It also comes with a unique speed cooking feature that shortens the time it’ll take to cook regular meals.
While you may actually be considering repairing your microwave if you notice any of the faults discussed in this article, you should understand that it might be wiser to just get a brand new microwave instead. Microwaves have grown to become a relatively affordable kitchen appliance and that’s why we believe purchasing a new one might just be more economical than spending on buying parts and fixing the appliance.