Major appliances are the cornerstones of modern life. Without these trusty devices, people would be reduced to washing their clothes by hand and cooking meals over an open fire.
It's no wonder that a broken appliance can amount to a pretty big problem in most households, and the question of whether to repair or replace these devices can even create a lot of anxiety.
Learn the average annual maintenance cost for each major home appliance and how that compares to replacement cost.
When it comes to repairing appliances, every device eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns. If it's cheaper to fix an appliance than replace it, the smart money is usually on the fix. However, it doesn't make sense to fix a device that is likely to break down again in the near future or become technologically obsolete.
Considerations for repair vs. replace
The age of an appliance needs to be considered when deciding whether to repair or replace. Most appliances have an average life cycle and once an appliance passes that point, it’s usually a good idea to replace. Antiques and some high-end appliances are the exceptions to the rule, as they may be extremely expensive to replace.
Determine if your appliance is under warranty because you might be able to have it repaired at a reduced rate or free of charge. Warranties are important because replacement parts are expensive and can even cost more than the cost of purchasing a new appliance. Make sure your warranty is covered by a factory-authorized appliance repair shop.
Appliance repair professionals say when the price of the repair totals more than half the cost to purchase a new appliance, you’re better off replacing the appliance.
Time to repair
- Appliance is under warranty
- Appliance is an antique that would be difficult to replace
- The repairs are minor and will extend the life of the appliance for several years
Time to replace
- Appliance is not under warranty
- The repairs are extensive and add up to more than half of the product’s original cost
- Appliance is technologically obsolete