Home appliances break down all the time. Whether it’s the fridge going warm or the dishwasher refusing to spin, you’re certain to experience such issues at least once every few months. And when that time comes, the big question is usually whether to repair or replace. Do you call a technician for appliance repair, or throw out the old appliance and go shopping for a new one?
In most cases, calling the technician may be the preferable option as it’s both faster and costs less. In other cases, however, such as when an appliance is already approaching its end of life, replacing might be the better option. So, how do you make the decision?
There are six important factors to consider
We’ve been in the appliance repair business for more than two decades now, and from our experience, there are six considerations that should help you make an informed decision;
Check if it’s still under warranty
Most appliances come with warranties that cover labor and parts for at least a year. Some, such as Sub-Zero refrigerators, have even longer warranties that last up to 12 years. Upon discovering that the appliance is broken, begin by checking whether the warranty is still active. Then, check to see if the broken part or necessary repair is covered. If it’s covered, don’t replace. Instead, schedule a service call.
Find out if the appliance is approaching its end of life
All appliances have an average lifespan, after which the appliance will be living on borrowed time. Compactors, for instance, are designed to last an average of six years. Exhaust fans, freezers, and washers typically last 10 years. Dishwashers and microwaves have an average lifespan of nine years. Dryers, electric ranges, and refrigerators should last 13 years on average. And, freezers and gas ranges, on average, last 15 years.
If the appliance is approaching or has passed the end of its useful life, then it’s usually a good idea to replace because breakdowns tend to become frequent at that age.
Consider the 50% rule in your appliance repair
Since it’s not very easy to decide whether to repair or replace broken appliances, experts have come up with a simple rule that you can always turn to. Start by checking if the appliance has reached 50% of its useful life. So, for instance, if you’re dealing with a washer, the average life expectancy would be ten years. Begin by checking if it has been in use for more than five years.
Next, find out if the cost of repairing the appliance would be at least 50% of the cost of replacement. If both answers are affirmative, then, from a financial point of view, it would be best to replace the appliance.
Consider energy efficiency
Though not often a primary reason for replacement, you can’t pretend that energy efficiency isn’t a big deal. A new, water-saving refrigerator, for instance, uses roughly 50% of the electricity that a 20-year-old refrigerator would consume. Those costs can add up quickly over the years, causing you to regret not replacing the appliance earlier.
That said, it’s important to proceed with caution since replacing an energy clunker that’s still relatively new can be wasteful too. You might spend thousands of dollars trying to save hundreds, which isn’t a wise move financially.
Can you DIY?
If you know your way around the socket wrench, you may be able to perform simple appliance repairs on your appliances and forget about the repair vs. replacement debate altogether. The even better news is that YouTube has plenty of DIY videos on pretty much all appliance repairs. All you need to do is use the manufacturer manual to troubleshoot the problem, then find a YouTube video that provides step-by-step instructions for that particular repair job.
There are a few downsides to this option, however. For instance, most electrical replacement parts are non-refundable; if you damage one while attempting the repairs, you’ll have lost money. Also, for some appliances, the warranty is voided the moment you decide to fix the machine on your own.
Still not sure? Get professional opinion
This especially applies to more expensive appliance repairs or appliances that may expose you to harm. For instance, attempting to diagnose your Sub-Zero refrigerator on your own might not be the best idea because even a mall misstep may result in further damage, leading to even more expensive repairs or the need for replacement. The same applies to risky appliances such as ranges. Attempting to diagnose a range on your own exposes you to electrical shocks or even fires.
To avoid the guesswork, you can bring in a professional technician to help with the diagnosis. The major advantage of hiring a professional is that aside from the knowledge, they also have the necessary diagnostic tools.
Now, you can make a decision
If you choose to replace, always try to upgrade to a modern, more energy-efficient model of the original appliance. If you choose to do an appliance repair, find the best technicians possible for the job. For Sub-Zero repairs in LA, Sub Zero Experts is by far your best option.