Deciding when to repair or replace your appliance
When a major appliance suddenly stops working, the loss of use is often compounded by the difficult question of whether to repair it or invest in a newer and, perhaps, more energy-efficient model.
If the repair is costly, it may be the right time to get a new appliance, especially if the existing appliance is at least 8 to 9 years old. The National Association of Home Builders provides the following estimates for the longevity of common household appliances:
Appliances’ average life expectancy
- Dishwashers: 9 years
- Dryers: 13 years
- Freezers: 11 years
- Refrigerators: 13 years
- Ranges (gas): 15 years
- Washing machines: 10 years
Should I repair it?
When determining the answer, consider the following:
Yes. If the appliance is still under warranty, call a factory-authorized repair shop.
Yes. If the appliance is an antique or a favorite high-end model you would like to continue to use. Make sure the repairs restore the appliance to current safety standards.
Yes. If the repairs are minor and will extend the life of the appliance for at least three to four years.
Maybe. If the product is not under warranty, call several qualified independent contractors to receive quotes on the cost of repairing. A reputable provider will help you assess your options, including the pros and cons of repairing versus buying.
No. If the repairs are extensive and add up to more than half of the product’s original cost.