Your kitchen is an imperative part of your home and family's lives. From preparing food and cooking to dining and entertaining, it is easy to see the importance of this space. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough emphasis on your kitchen appliances, especially since the oven is necessary for feeding your family and friends. Nothing lasts forever, so learning the signs that your oven is in distress is essential. With this guide, you will learn the signs that it is time to replace your oven.

It Is Old

Your oven and stove top is probably used multiple times per week. This basic use will wear the appliance down over time, so do not expect it to function forever.

On average, the lifespan of an electric range is 13 years while a gas range can last a little longer. If your oven is reaching this age, it may be time to start shopping for a new model.

It Is Rusty

Check the interior of your oven for signs of rust. The metal components inside may begin to rust if there is moisture inside your oven. This moisture could stem from what you are cooking or a door that is not properly closing.

After cleaning your oven, check the door to ensure it is closing properly. The seals should be intact, insulating the outside from the interior of your oven. Replace the seals, if necessary. If the door is not closing due the hinges being rusty or worn, it is most likely time to invest in a new oven.

Never consume food that has been cooked in a rusty oven. Small traces of rust will not harm you. However, consuming food with higher amounts of rust could affect your health.

It Is Cooking Unevenly

If your tried and true recipes are no longer baking properly, there may be a serious underlying issue with your oven.

If the baking element of your oven is burned out, the broiling element will only work. This causes food to bake unevenly. To determine if your baking element is burned out, check the element while it is heated to your desired temperature. The baking element should be glowing bright red.

On the opposite spectrum, if the broiler element is burned out, the baking element will heat the oven only, causing food to be cooked unevenly. When in the broil function, the broiling element should glow bright red. If it does not glow red while in operation, you should consider replacing the oven.  

Another common cause of uneven cooking is an issue with the gas oven's igniter. Check the igniter while heating your oven. If the igniter continues to glow without igniting the gas flame,  the igniter is weak and needs to replaced.  If your oven is having other issues, it may be cheaper to just replace the entire appliance rather than replace the igniter.

Its Glass Is Cracked

Cracked glass not only prevents your oven from holding in heat, but it can also be dangerous. Inspect the glass of your oven door carefully. If you notice any cracks or fissures, consider replacing the oven's door.

A large amount of heat can quickly escape through the smallest of cracks. This decreases the oven's energy efficiency, prevents you from cooking or baking in an effective, even manner, and can be dangerous if the glass breaks completely.

If you have a ceramic or glass top stove top, you should also inspect the cooking surface for cracks, dents, and fissures. Over time, the constant use and excessive heat will likely damage the ceramic or glass surface.

Replacing your oven will be likely at one point in time. If you are noticing one or all of the above signs, it is time to invest in a new oven.