It’s easy to find information and have discussions with people about whether vehicle repairs are worth doing. But that can be pretty simple to calculate: a transmission costs this much, an alternator costs that. You know upfront what you’re looking at and can decide when to cut your losses.
Appliance repairs are a little more complicated. Unlike cars, you may not be sure you can get parts for a machine. And retailers have little interest in servicing products because they want to sell you a new one.
Many items are costly, so opting for repair could delay a hefty expense. But it could also be a bandaid that delays the inevitable.
Often you do not have time to sit around considering all your options. A freezer full of melting food needs to either be fixed or replaced in a hurry. And, while a washing machine or stove going out may not be as urgent, you can’t wash clothes or cook until you fix that problem.
Here are some tips on how to know when to hire an appliance repair service and when to throw in the towel and buy a new one.
Appliance Repairs Basics
Before doing anything, be certain that an appliance is broken. Check to make sure circuit breakers haven’t tripped or that filters on the device aren’t clogged.
If you determine that it is the appliance causing the problems, you may check to see if it still under warranty. If not, consider the age of the machine. Ask yourself if you think it may be close to needing replacement anyway or if you can expect a repair to keep it running for a few more years.
Get An Estimate
If you suspect the latter, then consider reaching out to an appliance repair shop. Technicians cannot go around town taking a look at appliances for free. But most service calls are under $100, and some much cheaper.
This is actually a beneficial step since it allows the technician to come to your home, assess the problem, and give you a repair estimate.
50 Percent Rule
There are many variables impacting this decision. But a good rule-of-thumb is that you should replace an appliance if the cost of repair is more than 50 percent to replace it. So, if you can repair an $800 dryer for under $400, it is most likely worth it.
There are a few other factors that could tip the scales in one direction or the other. The life expectancy for different appliances can have a wide range.
Look up the average lifespan of a given appliance, and see if this weighs in heavily. If you can have that same $800 dryer repaired for under $400, but it is more than 10 years old, you may be more reluctant to move ahead than if it was only three years old.
Another thing to consider is whether upgrading to a more energy-efficient appliance is a factor. Thanks to efficiency measures, Americans use roughly the same amount of energy as they did in 2000, despite population and economic growth. While energy savings can be significant, they alone may not justify the purchase of a brand-new machine.
Weigh Everything Together
All these factors are cumulative. There is no single formula that determines whether you should repair or replace an appliance. The key is to explore your options, weigh all these variables, and make a sound decision. And if it’s too close to call, then you can’t go wrong either way.
We hope this information helps you get a better grasp of appliance repair vs. replacement. Be sure to check out some of our other home-and-garden posts, as well those on healthy food, business, and entertainment.