Appliances are a significant investment in any home, but what happens when they break down or stop working efficiently? Do you replace them or repair them? It’s a question that many homeowners face, and the answer is sometimes unclear. This article will explore guidelines to help you decide whether to repair or replace your appliance.
Consider the Age and Repair Cost
Suppose your appliance is old and has been repaired several times, or the repair cost is more than 50% of the cost of a new appliance – in that case, it may be time to consider replacing it.
Are you curious about how long your household appliances typically last?
Let’s start with refrigerators. On average, refrigerators last about 13 years. Although they run nonstop to keep your food chilled, cleaning the condenser coils can help them last longer.
Dishwashers have a lifespan of about 9 to 10 years, with certain parts, like the hose, needing replacement sooner.
Moving on to washing machines, they usually last around 10 years, with the size of your household and laundry habits playing a role in its longevity.
Dryers, both electric and gas, have an average life expectancy of 13 years and require regular maintenance to keep the lint cleaned off the screen and vent.
On the other hand, microwaves should keep heating up your leftovers for about 9 years. Remember to run it when you have food or liquids inside, as running it empty can cause damage.
Regarding ovens, ranges, and stoves, electric models typically last around 13 years. In comparison, gas models have a slightly longer average lifespan of about 15 years. Both types require very little maintenance other than routine cleaning.
If you have a stand-alone freezer, it offers an average usable life of 11 years. Keeping it clean and vacuuming the coils regularly, like a refrigerator, can make it last as long as possible.
Finally, let’s talk about garbage disposals. They typically last between 8 to 12 years, but knowing what not to throw in them can help prolong their lifespan. For example, avoid putting bones, fruit pits, nuts, grease, eggshells, fibrous vegetables, pasta, bread, oatmeal, or coffee grounds down the disposal as they can damage the blades or cause clogs in your plumbing.
Remember, while these are just average lifespans, regular maintenance, and care can extend the life of your appliances. So, take care of your appliances, and they’ll take care of you!
Is it Still Under Warranty?
If your appliance is still under warranty, check your owner’s manual or records to see if it’s covered. Most appliances come with a manufacturer warranty that will cover the cost of repairs anywhere from one to three years after the initial date of purchase. If it’s still covered, schedule a service call.
Consider Energy Efficiency
Upgrading to a new, energy-efficient model can save you money on your energy bills. However, upgrading may not be cost-effective if your current appliance still has some life left in it. Energy Star states that an old refrigerator uses about 33% more energy than a new model with ENERGY STAR certification. If you plan to stay in your home for the long haul, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances may be a good idea.
Hidden Costs When Replacing Old Appliances
Replacing an appliance may include more than just the cost of the machine. For example, you may need to modify your cabinetry to fit a new refrigerator, reroute, or bring in gas lines for a new range. Upgrading to a high-end appliance may also require additional electrical wiring and circuits.
If you’re handy with tools and know your way around a socket wrench, you can make simple appliance repairs yourself and save on labor fees. YouTube has plenty of DIY repair videos; also, you can find manuals online to help troubleshoot. However, keep in mind that some electrical replacement parts are nonrefundable, and some warranties are voided when you attempt repairs yourself. And the last tip is to unplug the machine before making any repairs to avoid electrocution.
Deciding whether to repair or replace your appliance can be a challenging decision. Still, these guidelines can help you make an informed choice. Consider the age and repair cost, warranty, energy efficiency, and hidden costs before deciding. And remember, if you’re unsure, a professional repair technician can help guide you in the right direction.