When Should You Replace or Repair Your Appliances

Is it time for appliance repair?

Your refrigerator is making funny noises, your stove isn’t quite working right, or maybe your dryer is blowing cold air instead of drying clothes.

But, do you repair or replace your appliance? That’s a common question for many homeowners. One the one hand, repairs tend to be less expensive, but a full replacement will give you peace of mind.

Just what is the point of diminishing returns for appliances?

Keep reading if you want to know if it’s time to repair or replace your appliance.

Factor the Age of the Appliance

Just like cars or anything else, appliances have timeframe before they just give out and it’s time to replace. You might expect your appliances to last forever, but they don’t last as long as they used to.

How long an appliance will last will depend on the manufacturer and how well it’s been maintained over the years, and how much it’s been used.

Appliances that have seen more wear and tear and haven’t been maintained will have a shorter lifespan, while those that have been regularly maintained and are used moderately will have a longer life.

The National Association of Home Builders did a study on the life expectancy of home components. The study included home appliances, basing their information on manufacturer information ad their own tests.

Here’s the average lifespan of the appliances covered in the study:

  • Microwaves: 9 years
  • Dishwashers 9 years
  • Refrigerators: 13 years
  • Dryers: 13 years
  • Gas Ranges: 15 years
  • Compactors: 9 years

As you can tell, your appliances have a pretty long lifespan, but if you find that your appliance is past the life expectancy, you may need to replace.

Do you have a newer appliance? Check the warranty to see if repairs or parts replacements are covered.

The Extent of the Repair

The next step in deciding to repair or replace your appliance is to determine the extent of the repair.

Let’s say your dryer is smoking. It’s probably a goner. Need a new refrigerator compressor? That’s a $500 repair, so you might as well replace it.

To figure out the extent of the repair, you might have to call an appliance repair company to take a look. Keep in mind that they may charge a trip charge and then give you an estimate.

You might be able to avoid that if you collect as much detail about the appliance as possible.

Do the Math for Appliance Repair vs. Replace

To decide on whether it’s best to repair or replace, you’ll need to do some math. First, consider that the average cost for an appliance repair is $170 nationwide, ranging between $106 – $236.

With that in mind, it helps to apply the 50% rule. You should replace the appliance if it’s past 50% of its lifespan and if the repair if 50% as much to buy a new appliance.

Can You Be Without the Appliance?

Sometimes, appliance breakdowns have the worst timing. Maybe your stove gives out before you host a big party or your washer breaks down days before the family is due to visit.

Either way, your life won’t allow you to be without that appliance for long. For example, if you have to buy a new water heater, how long can you be without it?

Replacing your appliance might mean that you’ll be without the appliance for at least a couple of days.

Repairs might be even longer. With repairs, you might have to wait a couple of days to get them to give you an estimate. Then they may need to order parts and come back to complete the job.

That may be less than ideal in your situation.

Replacing? Recycle Your Appliance

Did you figure that it’s best to replace your appliance? Now, you need to figure out how to dispose of your appliance legally and ethically.

Some retailers such as BestBuy and Lowe’s will take away your old appliance when they deliver the new one and dispose of it for you.

You can also check with your county or municipality to see what they will accept. They may also have a list of places to recycle your appliance.

Another option is to check with your utility company. Some utilities, such as California’s PG&E will compensate you $35 for a refrigerator or freezer. You can get $25 for an air conditioner. It’s a way that will pay, but you’ll have to check to see what they’ll accept.

Repairing? What to Look for When Choosing an Appliance Repair Company

When you’re looking for an appliance repair company, you’re going to want to have the repairs done right the first time. That’s why it’s important to hire the right repair company.

There are a few basic things to look for when hiring a company.

First, you want to make sure they’re licensed, bonded, and insured. That’s for your own protection. There are plenty of people who can do the repair, but you want to make sure that the person you hire to come to your home to do the repair

Second, look to see what kind of training they’ve had. Do they continuously invest in their training? Ideally, you want to hire someone who’s been trained by the manufacturer to repair your appliance.

Third, do they warranty their work? This is a great indication that they are confident and stand by the work that they do.

Finally, look at how long the company has been in business. For example, a company like AppliancePro repair that’s been in business for 35 years shows stability, and they’re going to take care of your repair.

Did You Decide on Appliance Repair or Replacement?

It can be a toss-up to decide if you need to repair or replace your home appliance. With a little math and knowledge, you can make the best decision for you. You also have the information you need so you don’t need to second-guess yourself.

If you do need a repair or replacement, our website has a full directory of service providers.

Check out our directory of appliance repair techs who can save your day.

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