Repair vs. Replace: Home Appliances & Equipment
As an appliance ages, you will eventually be confronted with the decision to either repair or replace the equipment. The decision can be challenging from a financial perspective, where costs can range from hundreds of dollars for a repair upwards to thousands for a new appliance. Below are some general tips to consider when facing the decision to repair or replace a home appliance.
Top Reasons to Repair an Appliance:
- The problem is covered.The heating and air conditioning equipment, kitchen or laundry appliance is still under a manufacturer’s warranty or service contract that covers the failed part and/or labor.
- Equipment has serviceable years. Based upon the average life expectancy of the appliance, the equipment has enough service years remaining to justify the repair.
- Repair costs are reasonable. One general rule of thumb identifies "reasonable" as "less than 50% of the cost” of a new appliance.
- Consistent reliability and operation. If the equipment has been reliable, has operated without failure, or if you particularly like the model and features, then repairing the equipment may be the best option.
Top Reasons to Replace an Appliance:
- High repair costs. If the cost to repair the appliance is more than 50% of the cost of a new one, investing in a new appliance may be advisable.
- No repair coverage. The appliance is not currently covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or service contract, which would cover the costs of repair.
- Age of the equipment. The age of an appliance has surpassed its average life expectancy and the repair will not adequately extend the life of the equipment.
- Service reliability issues. If the appliance has been unreliable and undergone numerous repairs, then replacing the equipment may be the best option.
- Unavailability of replacement parts. As home equipment ages, replacement parts may be more difficult to find.
- Improved energy efficiency. Newer models of appliances may have improved energy efficiency ratings. Compare the annual energy savings of the new model to the cost of running the old model. Savings from higher efficiencies may help the new equipment pay for itself over a relatively short period of time.