Repair vs. Replacement Guide

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Repairs on older home appliances can be frequent and expensive. Our Repair or Replace Guide can help you decide what to do about that broken refrigerator, washing machine or other household appliance.

As the systems in your home age, the energy efficiency and reliability of the equipment will begin to decline, while operating and repair costs rise. You will eventually be confronted with a choice, to either repair the equipment or replace the system with a more energy-efficient system. 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 replace or repair your equipment.

Top Reasons to Replace:

  • High repair costs. If the cost to repair the system is more than 50% of the cost of a new system, investing in a new system may be advisable.
  • No repair coverage. The equipment 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 the system has surpassed its average life expectancy and the repair will not adequately extend the life of the equipment.
  • Service reliability issues. If the system has been unreliable and undergone numerous repairs, then replacing the equipment may be the best option.
  • Unavailability of replacement parts. As 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.
BGE HOME technician providing a home improvement estimate
an HVAC technician is working on a HVAC condensing unit box outside a home.

Top Reasons to Repair:

  • The problem is covered. The system 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 system, 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 system.
  • Consistent reliability and operation. If the system 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.

Whether your old unit broke down or you’re looking to increase the operating efficiency of your home, BGE HOME is here to help.

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