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What to Do When Your Appliances Are on the Fritz

Posted On: June 14, 2020

When larger appliances start to falter, it’s time to make a big decision: Do you buy or retry? There are several things to consider when making this decision, including the lifespan of the appliance, the cost to repair and the cost to replace. We’ll take you through these factors for five of your most-used appliances.

Life Span
The length of life varies between appliances, so be sure you consider this before deciding to repair or replace.

Refrigerator/freezer: Keeping those food and beverages cold is important for the life and health of your consumables. Whether it’s a side-by-side or top and bottom appliance, they’re estimated to last between 13 and 19 years.

Oven: Your oven is key for making casseroles, meat and your favorite desserts, plus it tends to have a longer average lifespan than that of other appliances. Ovens have an estimated lifespan of 15 – 17 years.

Dishwasher: Dishes aren’t usually a favorite household chore, but thankfully your dishwasher does most of the dirty work. Consider an average of nine years that you’ll be able to use that trusty appliance.

Microwave: One of the least costly appliances gets a lot of use when you want a quick turnaround for cooking, heating or reheating food. Microwaves can be pretty dependable, lasting an average of 10 – 15 years.

Air conditioner: Staying cool in the summer relies on the health of your air conditioner, which lasts 8 – 15 years. It’s important to change the air filters every month or two. You can also turn the thermostat up a few degrees in the summertime when you’re away from home. It will help keep your energy bill down and help with its lifespan.

Care to Repair?
A lot of times, appliances will need minor repairs. As a rule of thumb, if it will cost around 50% of the appliance’s total cost, buying a new one would be the more economical decision. The average cost of appliance repairs can help you decide what the best decision is for you.

Refrigerator/freezer: The average cost of repairs to get your fridge up and running can range from $200 – $400. The most common repairs are a clogged drain, starting at $110, or fixing rattling sounds, starting around $50.

Oven: Cleanings or baking element problems can range from $120 to over $160, but the average cost for keeping your muffin-maker in perfect condition is $400 – $700.

Dishwasher: Keeping those dishes clean again and again is important. Luckily, repairs start around $100 and don’t typically exceed $300.

Microwaves: The average cost for microwave repairs is $75 – $150. Sometimes you’ll face easy fixes for a fuse ($10 – $15) or a touchpad ($20 – $50).

Air conditioner: Turning down the temperature can turn up problems for this expensive appliance. Keeping it serviced and going easy on it during the summer heat can help. The average repair cost is $200 – $400, so a service call is needed when it breaks down.

Ready to Replace?
If you’re on a budget, replacing an appliance with a simpler model without all the bells and whistles could be the right move. The simpler the appliance is, the more likely it will last longer. If you’re in the market for more features, many models can deliver with advanced technologies.

Refrigerator/freezer: It’s important to shop around to decide what’s right for your family depending on space, type and size. Top-mounted freezers start at just $350, whereas top-mounted refrigerators in top-of-the-line styles can cost more than $2,000.

Oven: Ovens, the heart of kitchens, can cost the same as refrigerators. Deciding whether gas or electric is the best fit for you will determine your final price, which varies between $350 to more than $2,000.

Dishwasher: Colors and materials affect the price, as well as the noise and power levels. Basic models can be as low as $250, while heavy-duty designs can be over $1,000.

Microwaves: Luckily, this will be one of the more economical appliances in your kitchen. Basic models start around $60, but you can kick up the features with technologies like sensor cooking for over $600.

Air conditioner: Air conditioners can be the most expensive appliance for your home. When deciding to purchase one, consider the size of the unit and installation costs. A/C units run an average of $3,000 – $5,000.

There are many factors to consider when your appliances just can’t get the job done anymore. Follow these tips as a guide as you consider whether to repair or replace them.


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