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

Dishwasher: 9 years

Refrigerator: 13 years

Freezer: 11 years

Kitchen Range (gas): 15 years

Washing Machine: 10 years

Dryer: 13 years

When to Repair an Appliance

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.


We'd like to know your determining factors for a repair or replacement appliance - please leave your story in the comments below! 


More Like This

How to maintain your appliances

Appliances take quite a beating – nearly 30 percent of Angie’s List member who answered our poll will repair appliances and/or fixtures in 2012. Highly rated appliance repair professionals on Angie’s List say it comes down to owners not doing basic cleaning as needed and/or doing things that harm the appliance.


On the subject of "Repair" or "Replace", I'd like to throw my 2 cents in. I've been an appliance repair technician for over 30 years now. (I just realized that makes me sound old) When I first got into the business in 1980, appliances were made to last. It was important to the manufactures that their product was reliable. Refrigerator compressors were built so strong they would last 30 plus years. I would see customers using the same washer & dryer for 20 years or more. Quality mattered back then. As time passed, I noticed that the quality was going down. Manufactures started caring more about money than quality. After all, save 5.00 on building a dishwasher and they would make an extra 5 million dollars when 1 million were sold. I understand that they needed to make appliances more energy efficient but I also know they could have built them to last. My point to all of this is, buying new should not be your first thought when an appliance breaks down. Most of the time you'll be getting something inferior to what you have right now. Find an honest appliance repair service and have them check out your broken appliance to see if repairing it would be the best move. Most of the time, it would be. -Bob Meadows/B&D Appliance Repair Service/Palmdale, CA

Even newer appliances have problems, some minor some major. Life expectency? well frankly some older appliances are better built then newer ones. So do not be suprized if the older one lasted the newer one. When repair is needed on the newer computer controlled appliances. Parts do wear out and the newer ones have cheap parts in them. Parts that should be of metal are of plastic, like cars hehe. Well serious, Appliances all break down, its just a question of if cost effective to repair or replace of it. Depending of the repair cost.

I bought extra stoves for parts IF needed as I LOVE my 1967 Frididaire Flair range with the raise up oven doors not available anymore.So yes I fix all that breaks & not much does. Very well built.

Add comment


What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 3 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!