Repair vs Replacement: Which is Right for Your Broken Appliance?


The holidays are upon us, and a broken appliance can put a serious damper on your family get-togethers. When a dishwasher starts leaking or an oven goes kaput, your first thought may be to just replace it – especially if you have family coming over in a few days! However, many times an appliance can be fixed for less cost and hassle and be done in the same amount of time (or less) than it takes to buy and install a replacement. While repair is not always the best solution (or even possible in all cases), it can save you money in many situations. Here’s how to know if your broken appliance can be repaired or if replacing it is the better solution.

Make Sure it’s Really Broken

Okay, this may seem obvious, but if your appliance stops working, you need to make sure it’s really broken. Depending on the appliance, it could stop working because a circuit breaker has been tripped, the flooring underneath it is uneven, the filters or vents need to be cleaned or it isn’t plugged in or accidentally got turned off. Do a thorough inspection of the appliance to make sure it actually is broken and doesn’t just need a few adjustments.

Check the Warranty

A lot of appliances have warranties, and if your warranty is still good, you can usually get it fixed for free. Most warranties on large appliances like washers and dryers cover labor and parts for a year and some offer extended warranties to cover parts for two years. Make sure you know what your warranties entail and keep them in an easily accessible location so you can find them when you need to!

Determine the Age of the Appliance

Knowing how close an appliance is to the end of its ‘life’ is important when making the call between repair and replacement. The average lifespan of a microwave, for example, is nine years while an electric range is 13 years, a washing machine is 10 years, and a freezer is 11 years. If your broken appliance is still ‘young’, it probably makes sense to repair it. If it’s nearing the end of its natural life, though, you may save money in the long run by just getting a new one. A good rule of thumb is that if an appliance is at least halfway through its lifespan and the cost of repairing it is more than 50% of the cost of a new one, you should go ahead and buy a replacement.

Think About Energy Efficiency

New energy and water-saving appliances can make a big difference in your utility bills, especially if one or more of your big appliances are outdated. However, they also cost a lot, so you may end up spending more on these models than you would save by just repairing the older ones. Energy-efficient appliances will pay off in the long run, though, and they’ll also increase your resale value. If you plan to stay in your home for at least 10 years, you’ll end up saving money with the new model. And, if you’re about ready to put your home on the market, you may sell it quicker and for more money, if you upgrade appliances.

Take Infrastructure Into Consideration

Sometimes replacing an appliance involves a lot more work than you’re expecting. A new refrigerator may not fit in the space of the old one and upgraded ovens or ranges could require new gas lines or adding electrical wires or circuits. In these cases, you might save money (and a lot of headaches) by having your current appliance fixed.

If you have a broken appliance in the Omaha area, the choice of whether to repair or replace it is not an easy one. However, if you do decide that repair is an option, call an expert like those at ASAP Appliance & Plumbing Services. Our specialists have the tools and parts needed to make repairs quickly and we’ll have you entertaining again in no time!