Major appliances can be a pretty hefty investment and in a perfect world they would last forever. As much as we would all like that, it's just not the case - eventually all appliances break. But whether you should drag them out to the road or try to fix them is another decision in itself.
So how do you decide if it really is time for a replacement? There are plenty of "rules" floating around out there, some of them good others a little questionable. So we've gathered up a few that we think are worth checking out.
Look For Easy Fixes
More often than you would think, the source of your appliance's issue is a quick fix that you can spot just by looking it over. Loose or damaged power cords, a clogged vent, stuck on debris, a blown fuse, ice buildup... These are all things that can typically be remedied fairly easily with little to no cost to you and get your appliances working normally again in no time.
Get an Estimate
If you're not sure what the source of the issue is, don't be afraid to contact a technician to have them check it out. You may have to pay a small fee for their time, but they can help you get a better idea of what needs to be replaced. Just make sure to have them break down the cost by labor and parts in case you can find the part for less.
By having an expert look over your appliances it can actually save you time & money, helping you to avoid buying the wrong parts or walking into a repair you might not actually be able or have the time to do yourself.
Sometimes it could be something as simple as getting a brush to clean the coils of your fridge, replacing your water or air filter, cleaning buildup in your dishwasher, getting a new fan blade, or swapping out the coil element on your stove. Most of these parts will cost you under $100 (or even $30) and you can usually replace them yourself.
Check the Warranty
Once you've got a good idea of the problem, the next place we suggest you check is your appliance's warranty. Certain repairs or issues could still be covered if you're within the manufacturer warranty or if you opted-in for the extended warranty. You'll also want to check if working on your appliance will void the warranty.
Decide If It's Worth It to You
Some may say that if your appliance is beyond the half-way point of its "expected" life and repairing it would cost more than 50% of the cost to replace it you're better off simply replacing the appliance.
But we don't really agree with this. Yes, some repairs can get a bit pricey, but even spending say $600 to repair you refrigerator is still significantly more affordable than paying $1,200+ for a new one, particularly if you might be able to use the appliance for another 4 to 5 years even beyond its expected life. And, you can usually save some extra money by doing it yourself.
It's also typically more manageable to replace individual parts than the whole unit, especially if it's a custom or built in appliance. It can also help you avoid extra costs that may arise like having to alter your space or cabinetry to accommodate a new unit.
And of course there are those special cases where an antique appliance has been passed down over the years and the sentimental value far outweighs any price tag. Ultimately, it's up to you. It could truly be time for a new one or you might just be ready for something different, but if it's really worth it to you to fix it go ahead and do it.
Ready to get started fixing your appliances?
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