How to Decide Whether to Repair or Replace an Appliance

Nobody wants to have an appliance quit working and have to decide whether to repair or replace it. Some cases are very clear-cut, with repairs being impossible or extremely expensive, but some decisions are a bit harder, such as when the repair is about half the cost of getting a new appliance. Taking the following things into consideration may make the decision a little easier.

Check the Basics

Sometimes an appliance isn’t really broken. Before calling for service, make sure it’s plugged in, clean any vents and filters and check to see that the circuit breaker hasn’t been tripped. Sometimes the trick of unplugging it and plugging it back in may even work or plugging it into a different outlet if another one is nearby.

Consider the Age of the Appliance

Each appliance has an expected lifetime, so if the appliance is almost this old or older, it may make more sense to replace it. Refrigerators, electric ranges and dryers all last around 13 years; a washer typically lasts about 10 years; and a freezer lasts about 11 years. Microwaves and dishwashers have an expected life span of nine years.

Find Out If It’s Still Under Warranty

If an appliance is still under warranty, it makes sense to at least look into repairs, as these will often be at no cost to you. Unfortunately, many companies have started to only offer warranty coverage for one year from the date of purchase.

Estimate the Cost of the Repair

Before calling for service, look into the cost of getting a new appliance. If the cost of the repair will be more than 50 percent of the cost of getting a new appliance, it may make more sense to buy that new appliance. Some people still choose to repair their appliance, however, especially if money is tight and the repair should keep the appliance running for a few more years.

Remember the Reliability of the Appliance

When deciding whether to follow the 50/50 rule above, consider the reliability of the appliance. If you’ve never had issues with it before and love it, it may make sense to do the repair even if the cost is a bit over 50 percent of the cost of a new appliance. If you’ve already had to repair it multiple times, it may be better to spring for a new one.

Consider Energy Efficiency

With particularly old appliances, advances in energy efficiency may make it worthwhile to purchase a new appliance, especially if this would give you a tax credit. This decision makes the most sense if you’ll be staying in the same home for many years. Those who are planning on moving in the near future may want to go with the less expensive repair option, as the energy savings may not amount to much over just a few years.

Understand Which Problems Are Expensive to Fix

If the washer has stopped spinning, the oven is rusty, the dryer is smoking or the refrigerator compressor isn’t working anymore, you should replace the appliance. Examples of less expensive repairs include an overheating dryer, a refrigerator that makes rattling noises and a dishwasher or washing machine that isn’t filling all the way.

Consider Downtime

One of the common drawbacks to getting an appliance repaired is having to be at home for a long stretch of time waiting for the repair person. And should the repair person not have the right part on hand, they’ll have to do it another day once the part comes in. Think about the value of your time as well as the cost of the repair.

Keep Other Considerations in Mind

When purchasing a new appliance, keep in mind that the cost of the appliance isn’t the only cost involved. You’ll need to dispose of the old appliance and pay to have the new one delivered and installed in many cases. This expense should be factored into your cost-benefit analysis. These costs may be worth it if the new appliance has features you’ve been wanting.

Our team of professionals at Capital City Appliance Service, Inc., can help you with any appliance repair needs you have. Call us today.

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