Appliances are the backbone of today’s modern homelife. So when one breaks, it can be a major inconvenience. How do decide between repairs or buying something new?
First, you should know what the expected lifespan is for your
appliances. That 15-year old microwave is likely on its last leg, so it might
be worth it to replace instead of repairing. But a refrigerator has a nine to
13-year lifespan and you should take that into consideration.
According to the International Association of
Certified Home Inspectors, you can generally expect the following years of
use from your appliances:
|Air Conditioner (window)||5 to 7|
|Disposal (food waste)||12|
|Dryer Vent (plastic)||5|
|Dryer Vent (steel)||20|
|Freezer||10 to 20|
|Gas Oven||10 to 18|
|Hand Dryer||10 to 12|
|Electric Range||13 to 15|
|Gas Range||15 to 17|
|Refrigerator||9 to 13|
|Swamp Cooler||5 to 15|
|Washing Machine||5 to 15|
|Whole-House Vacuum System||20|
A good rule of thumb is to replace if the cost to repair is
50% or more of the cost of a new appliance. Upgrading may cost more initially, but newer
models are often more energy efficient, saving you money on utilities. Or you
may even qualify for a rebate, bringing the overall cost down.
Sometimes, you can delay repairs or replacements with proper
- Refrigerator: clean the coils with a vacuum
cleaner at least once a year
- Dryer: clean lint from the dryer vent and lint trap
- Washer: clean your washer on a regular basis to
get rid of residue left behind by detergent or fabric softener
If you do decide that it’s better to repair than replace, be
smart before handing over any money. Check your warranty to see if the repairs
are covered – even if your appliance is a few years old.
Only do business with reputable companies. Be wary of
companies who ask for payment up-front; this could be a scam and they may not
show up to do the repairs you paid for.
No appliance lasts forever, and you will find yourself making the repair or replace decision at some point. Lessen the financial burden – no matter what you choose – by having an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses like these.
This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
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