Repair or replace, do I make the move with appliance repair, or just buy a new one?
Appliance repair or replacement? That is often the inner debate. When is it most cost-effective to opt for repair? Many of the appliances in today’s homes are expensive pieces of sophisticated technology. When the refrigerator goes on the blink or a stove conks out completely, here are the things to consider before setting out to buy a new one. In the end, a homeowner might be very satisfied to know they can save themselves a bit of change and plenty of trouble by opting for appliance repair.
Age: How old is that appliance? After all, they are constructed with a finite life span. Water heaters, clothes dryers, and dishwashers were never intended to last forever. But if an appliance has not reached the end of its working life tether, it may be more cost-effective to repair the one you have and get several more years of use out of it. Life-spans vary according to appliance. Below are expected lifespan averages according to a Consumer Reports’ national study:
- Home furnace = 12-15 years
- Air conditioner unit = 15 years
- Range/stove = 13-15 years
- Clothes dryer, refrigerator = 13 years
- In-sink disposal = 12 years
- Washing machine = 10 years
- Water heater = 10-20 years
- Automatic dishwasher, microwave oven = 9 years
If the lifespan numbers tell you that there are still plenty of functional years left in an appliance, it is likely that a repair will be more cost-effective.
Common Problems: There are some common problems with virtually every appliance. These are the types of repairs most appliance professionals see on a routine basis. That means when a homeowner calls up a home service company, they will likely know right away what kind of issue is being described. They probably have the necessary parts and can dispatch an experienced technician who can complete the job efficiently. A common appliance ailment often proves more cost-effective to repair. Here are a few examples:
- Slow-filling washing machines and under-performing automatic dishwashers usually need a valve replacement.
- Over-heating dryers that blow a fuse may have a blockage in the ventilation system.
- Freezers accumulating too much frost, or refrigerators running too long in the cooling cycle, may have a defective gasket that needs replacement.
Cost: There is no exact science to determining when an appliance should be replaced or repaired. There is, however, a general rule of thumb. It’s called the 50% Rule. To know how to apply this rule, it comes down to a bit of simple mathematics. If an appliance is halfway through its expected lifespan and repair cost is less than half what a new appliance costs, it is more cost-effective to repair the appliance.
Warranty: Before picking up the phone to call a repairman, or set out to the local big box store to purchase a replacement, check out the documents of the ailing appliance. It might be under warranty. Depending on the age of the appliance, a warranty might cover the parts and labor cost of a repair.
Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance will help a homeowner get the most out of an appliance’s lifespan. You change the oil in your car, right? Appliances are filled with mechanical parts just like a car. And just like an automobile they are expected to perform and function daily. If they are not properly maintained, they will break down earlier than expected.
Find A Professional: Before a homeowner needs a repair, they should be securing the services of a professional home services company to perform the routine maintenance their appliances need. It’s important to partner with a company that features factory-trained technicians with a background in the latest brands and new technologies integrated into their products. A home service provider who has been maintaining your appliances will already be familiar with your products and their maintenance history. Trouble-shooting a problem will be more accurate, with a technician arriving stocked with the right parts needed for the job.
For more information on how to get better performance and longer life out of your home appliances in San Antonio, please contact us.
21019 US Hwy 281 N Ste 830-23
San Antonio, TX 78258