There are few things more frustrating than having a major appliance like a refrigerator or television break. Part of the aggravation is the struggle involved in deciding whether to replace the item or have it fixed. While flashy features available on a new model can be enticing, having an appliance fixed is often the better cost-saving option. On the other hand, there are times when it makes better financial sense to replace it. The appliance repair versus replacement debate should be settled based on the cost of the repairs and the age of the appliance. Doing the math on both options will help you determine which route is better for your budget.
The age of the equipment is a major consideration in deciding whether to fix or replace it. You can expect your refrigerator to last between 11 and 13 years, your dishwasher to run for 10 years, and your clothes dryer to survive 15 years. Appliance repair experts say that beyond these time periods, fixing the broken machine might be cheaper than replacing it, but the likelihood that you will soon have another problem is high.
You should also look into whether a newer product will lower your utility bills. This is especially true with washing machines and dishwashers. Newer models are more energy-efficient and water-efficient than in the past. Despite the initial up front cost of buying new devices, you will likely save money in the long run in the form of lower water and electricity bills.
If your device is still well within its life expectancy, you should consider the cost of fixing it before deciding to replace it. The costs associated with fixing your machine are parts and labor. Appliance repair experts suggest that the cost of fixing should be 50 percent or less of the cost of a new item. If you do opt for repair, consumer experts advise that those who use independent repair shops rather than the manufacturer pay less and are more satisfied with their service. Ask a few reputable shops to send someone out for an estimate. Although it is unlikely that your machine will break during the warranty period, it is always a good idea to check to see if repairs are covered.
Finally, homeowners who know their way around a toolbox can go the do-it-yourself route. This might be a good option when the cost of the part is much less than the cost of labor and if you are confident in your ability to troubleshoot the issue. There are a number of how-to videos available on the Internet that can walk you through fixing your broken gadgets. You should also consult your owner’s manual. Appliance repair experts also explain that sometimes what their customers think is a problem is actually a feature of the equipment. It is wise to check the owner’s manual to make sure you are using it properly.
Figuring out whether to fix or replace your appliances is not always a no-brainer. Doing some research will help you find out which option is better in your situation.