As you go about your day, you rely on home appliances more than you probably realize. Only when something goes wrong do you appreciate how dependent you are on your refrigerator, washer and dryer, hot water heater, dishwasher, and oven. Learn how to tell if you should schedule appliance repair and when to opt for a replacement instead.
Signs Your Appliances Need Attention
The appliance won’t turn on: Obviously, if you can’t use your appliance at all, it needs a repair. Before you pick up the phone, double check that the appliance is plugged in, no circuit breakers have tripped, and any vents or filters aren’t clogged. Once troubleshooting is out of the way, call an appliance repairman to come take a look.
- Unusually high utility bills: Putting off appliance repair may seem like the best way to save money, but if your gas, water or electric bills are especially high one month, it could mean that one or more appliances are malfunctioning and hogging more energy than they should. A repair can get them back in working order and restore your energy bills to normal.
Other signs of malfunction: You get used to the way your appliances function, so if any of them start to act strangely, they might need a repair. For instance, a washing machine that operates louder than usual, a refrigerator that starts dripping, a dryer that can’t seem to get your clothes dry, or an oven that takes twice as long to preheat are all signs a repair is needed.
Deciding Between Appliance Repair or Replacement
Follow the 50% rule: This is the best advice to help you decide whether your money is better spent on a repair or replacement. The 50% rule states that if your appliance is more than 50% through its lifespan and a repair is also more than 50% of the cost to buy a new one, it’s better to replace the appliance. A knowledgeable repairman can tell you the average lifespan of the appliance in question, the replacement cost and the repair cost so you have all the information you need to make your calculation correctly.
Consider the warranty: If your appliance breaks down when it’s new enough to still be under warranty, schedule a service call without delay. Labor and parts may still be fully covered so you can have the repair done for free.
Take hidden replacement costs into account: The cost of replacing an appliance may be more than what’s listed on the price tag. If you have a professional install it, labor costs will increase the price. Newer appliances may also not fit where the old unit sat, which may require you to make modifications. Also, if you upgrade from a simple model to one with all the bells and whistles, you may end up needing to upgrade your electrical wiring and circuits. Keep all these hidden costs in mind as you shop for replacement appliances.
If you decide to pursue appliance repair, you may be inclined to attempt a do-it-yourself job before hiring a professional to save on labor costs. If you’re handy with a socket wrench and are willing to put in the time, a DIY repair could be worthwhile to pursue. Just keep the risks of a DIY job in mind, including the potential for personal injury, voiding your warranty, and wasting your money on non-refundable replacement parts if you misdiagnose the problem.
In the end, it’s probably best to schedule appliance repair from Mr. Appliance®. We’ll diagnose the problem and help you decide whether a repair or replacement is more advantageous.
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