Phoenix Arizona Appliance Tips: 5 Quick Dishwasher Solutions
February 19, 2019
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Repair or Replace? How to Decide What to Do When a Home Appliance Breaks Down

When your fridge goes on the fritz, how do you decide whether to repair or replace it?


What can be more frustrating than a dryer that won’t dry your clothes?


After you’re done kicking the dryer should you repair or replace it?


Sometimes deciding to repair a washing machine seems like a no-brainer until you go to pay the bill and realize that it’s more than half the cost of a new washer!


The next time a home appliance breaks down, ask yourself these three questions to decide whether to repair or replace.


  1. How much will the repair cost?


Try to diagnose the problem. Google it with your appliance model and see if there are any DIY solutions, like replacing a fuse or cleaning a filter. Sometimes there are quick fixes.


If you have to call a service technician, get a quote on how much it will cost to repair. Check on what a new replacement appliance would cost. If the cost to repair is over 50 percent of the replacement cost, talk to the service tech about whether it’s worth repairing. Has it broken down in this way before? Is it likely to break down again? Is it possible this breakdown has damaged other parts?


  1. How old is the appliance?


You shouldn’t expect home appliances to last forever. You can use that same 50 percent logic from the first question here too. If the appliance is more than halfway through its lifespan (and will cost more than half the replacement cost to repair it), you should consider replacing it. Here are the typical lifespans of major home appliances (according to HouseLogic):


  • Dishwasher: 9 years
  • Dryer: 13 years
  • Electric range: 13 years
  • Gas range: 15 years
  • Microwave: 9 years
  • Refrigerator: 13 years
  • Washer: 10 years


Of course lifespan can vary greatly depending on how the appliance has been used and maintained. For example, a family of seven will run the washing machine many more times each week than a single person. And they’ll open and close the fridge many more times a day! Whether or not you clean the fridge’s coils twice a year and regularly clean your dryer’s vent piping will affect lifespan.


  1. How much more energy efficient would a replacement be?


Newer Energy Star-certified appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy bills. For example, a new washing machine will use about 70% less energy and 75% less water than a washing machine that’s 20 years old. Today’s Energy-Star certified appliances are more, sometimes far more, energy efficient than those from five to ten years ago. If your broken-down appliance is not Energy Star-certified (no big yellow and black sticker), you should seriously consider replacing it.




Repair or replace? You’ll have to make that decision the next time a home appliance breaks down. Answering these three questions can help you spend your money wisely and get the most from your appliances.

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