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Home appliances make your life easier. Except when they aren’t working. Then clothes aren’t drying or aren’t properly cleaned in the first place, dishes have to be washed by hand or food is spoiling.

That’s bad enough, but gets even worse if there’s water damaging your floor or you’re eating out because the microwave and stove both went kaput at once. That’s costing you money and time. In some cases, your appliances may be costing you money even if they seem to be running correctly.

Here are five questions to help you decide whether to repair or replace an appliance that is on the fritz.

5 Questions To Help You Decide Whether To Repair Or Replace Your Appliances

  1. Will The Warranty Cover It
  2. Cost To Repair Vs. Cost To Replace
  3. Age Compared To Life Expectancy
  4. Energy Efficient
  5. Frequency Of Failure


1. Is It Under Warranty? And Even If It’s Not?

Most appliances have a one-year warranty on parts and service. So, obviously, if the appliance is under warranty, take advantage of it. But let’s say the appliance just went out of warranty. Are you out of luck?

Not necessarily. If you’re persistent and persuasive (and don’t lose your temper), odds are you can find a customer service rep who will agree to do an out-of-warranty manufacturer’s repair if the:

  • Expired warranty date is relatively recent (within 3-6 months), or
  • Repair is a re-occurrence of a previous under-warranty repair (which indicates either the first repair was done incorrectly or something that is causing the problem wasn’t originally detected).

2. What’s The Repair Cost Vs A New Appliance?

Unlike the car your father handed down to you to go to college or the typewriter you write personal notes on instead of emailing, most people don’t have emotional attachments to household appliances. There’s no sense of “let’s try to keep ole Betsy running, she’s been in the family for years.”

You buy a new appliance when the old one stops working (or if you’re remodeling and it clashes with the new décor, but that’s another discussion) and the cost to fix it isn’t worth it.

So how do you know when it’s time to get something new instead of repairing what you have?

It almost goes without saying (though we’re going to), if the repair costs almost as much or even more than a new appliance, buy a new appliance. Duh. Where you might be staying up late at night thinking about this is when the repair is expensive, but not as expensive as replacing it. What’s the best way to go?

Generally speaking, if the cost to repair the appliance is more than half what you’d pay for a new one, you probably want to lean towards a new purchase. If you’re on the fence about which way to lean, the next question determines where you need to land.

3. How Old Is The Appliance?

If your appliance is nearing the end of its life expectancy, it’s probably better to replace than repair. While your mileage will vary, here’s how long you can expect various appliances to last:

  • Refrigerator: 15-year life expectancy
  • Stove/Oven: 10 to 15 year life expectancy
  • Dishwasher: 8 to 10 year life expectancy
  • Washer & Dryer: 8 to 12 year life expectancy

4. How Energy Efficient Is The Appliance?

Household appliances account for about 40% of your energy bill. Even if your appliances seem to be working fine, they could be costing you money if they are running inefficiently.

An inefficient freezer, for example, can cost you almost a thousand dollars in energy expense over the cost of its lifetime.

Newer appliances run more efficiently than older appliances. If your current appliance doesn’t’ have an Energy Star label, you might want to replace it for that reason alone. Even if it does, if the appliance is fairly old (see above), a newer model is likely more efficient and those savings could be applied to the cost of a newer model.

5. How Many Times Has The Appliance Failed?

As long as you do the proper maintenance (yeah, we’re looking at you, the guy who has never cleaned the dryer lint filter or vacuumed the refrigerator condenser coils haha), appliances should run reliably.

But, sometimes they don’t, they just malfunction. This is just one of those things that happen sometimes when products are mass-produced. One or two repairs over the course of an appliance’s lifetime may be a better use of your money than getting a new replacement. Third or fourth time an appliance has broken down? Time to consider a new one.


Have More Questions?

Still not sure what your best options are? Area Appliance Service is here to help and has been since 1958. We know all major appliance brands inside and out. If you’re better off replacing an appliance, we won’t waste your time or money trying to fix it.

But if it can extend the useful life of your appliance, our expertise ensures every repair is a worthwhile investment. Offering a 12-month warranty on all labor and parts and a 12-month satisfaction guarantee.

We service the Chicagoland suburbs near you including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook, Mundelein, Palatine, Wheeling, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Vernon Hills, Mount Prospect and more of the surrounding areas.

Call (847) 459-8070, we’re available 24 hours for emergency appliance repairs.


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