Much like any material item, every appliance has a lifespan. When an appliance is aging or not working as efficiently as it should, it may seem high time to replace the machine, rather than going through with repairs. Of course, sometimes appliances break well before reaching their proverbial golden years, making the decision to replace or repair quite a bit harder. There are so many “what ifs” when it comes to your appliances. If you’re not sure whether its time to repair or replace your appliance, simply ask yourself 3 key questions.

How Old Is The Appliance?

Before you make a decision on whether to repair or replace an appliance, know the age of the appliance in mind. Once you have a concrete number, go ahead and apply the 50 percent rule to the age of your appliances in regards to the cost of repairing them. If an appliance is more than 50 percent through its current lifespan and the cost of the repair is more than 50 percent the cost of buying new, then you should opt to replace rather than repair. 

To do the math, start by getting familiar with the typical lifespan of most appliances. The average lifespan (in  years) of most major household items is:

  • Microwave: 9
  • Compactor: 6
  • Dishwasher: 9
  • Electric range: 13
  • Dryer: 13
  • Washer: 10
  • Exhaust fan: 10
  • Freezer: 11
  • Gas range: 15
  • Disposal: 12
  • Refrigerator: 13
  • Range hood: 14

Once you know the average lifespan of household items, get a repair estimate to figure out what a repair may cost you. While some service companies charge a “trip fee” to diagnose a problem, companies such as Fisher & Paykel appliance repair will be will waive any initial charges if they go through with the repairs. Always look for experienced appliance repair companies with several years of experience.

Is Your Appliance An Energy Suck? 

Appliance age is important, but in the modern-day, energy costs are another key factor to keep in mind when deciding whether to repair or replace your appliances. If you have a very old appliance, it may be a major energy drain and boast a lower energy-efficiency rating than newer models. If you choose to replace your old appliances with newer models, you could save a bit of money in the long run. Every sales label at your local appliance store will offer an EnergyGuide label to estimate exactly how much an appliance will cost you to operate annually.

Energy Star certified appliances have to meet rigorous international standards of energy efficiency created by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. Energy star approved appliances tend to use about 20 percent less energy per year than older standard models. Of course, replacing your appliances for energy reasons alone isn’t always budget-friendly upfront. If you don’t have the money to replace now, don’t go broke trying to save a bit of dough long term. Simply repair your items with an expert appliance repair company instead.

Is the Appliance Still Under Warranty?

Always make sure whether or not a broken or inefficient appliance is still under warranty. Consult with your owner’s manual or records and see if a given appliance still falls under any initial or extended warranties. Most warranties will cover parts and labor for a year, while extended coverage plans can cover parts for two years. If your appliance is still under warranty, it would make more sense to repair the item rather than shell out the dough for a newer and far more expensive model.

Remember, if your appliance is still in its infancy or repair costs are covered under warranty, call a service person for an estimate. You may end up saving more money by choosing to repair rather than opting for a full replacement.