Sometimes letting go is hard. Saying goodbye to a part of your life that has been there through thick and thin; stuck it out over the years… No, I’m not talking about your significant other, or even your kiddos going off to college next year: I’m talking about your appliances.
It can be hard to tell when it is time to let go of an old refrigerator or dryer and change it in for a newer model—not just for sentimental reasons (“But I’ve had that fridge since college!”) but also in terms of cost effectiveness. Sure, a newer model might seem like the spending splurge, but sometimes it is actually more economical; other times it’s not. So how do you know? How do you know when it is time to say goodbye to that trusty appliance or electronic?
In today’s post we’ll go over some household appliances where these questions seem to be asked a lot and give you some general rules of thumb. We can’t tell you how to say goodbye to that trusty appliance, but we can certainly tell you when to replace it or when to repair it.
1) Television: Replace
Televisions today aren’t what they used to be—which is both good and bad. These sleeker, plasma T.V.s are certainly a lot cooler-looking and have a much better picture than those old tube T.V.’s, but they’re also more delicate and seem to fizzle after only a few years. Repairs are costly and everyday it seems as though television prices are dropping lower and lower. So you’d do better just to replace it.
If you do have an old tube T.V. that is starting to (finally) give out on you, you’d also do better to buy a new T.V. than spend the money on repairs. These dinosaurs of T.V. are no longer being made and so finding someone to repair it will A) be difficult and B) cost you, perhaps more than just buying something new.
2) Washing Machine: Repair… or Replace
Okay, sorry for the “wishy-washy” answer (and again for that pun…) but this one really depends on the model and year of your machine. Top-loader machines tend to have more costly repairs since they are older and the parts are more difficult to come buy. If this is the case, you might want to just buy a new, more energy-efficient machine with an extended warranty.
If you already have a newer machine, you’ll need to determine how severe the repair needs to be: replacing a hose is one thing, but fixing something more fundamentally wrong might cost more than the machine is actually worth. But generally speaking, if you’ve already spent the money on a nice, new machine and it seems to be running well aside from the present issue, just go ahead and get it repaired.
3) Dryer: Repair
Perhaps it is just that there are fewer parts and fewer things that can go wrong with a dryer, but on average it costs less to repair a dryer’s broken parts than a washer’s. (Also a little side note: not only are repairs more expensive in a washing machine, but also the average washer costs about 10-15% more than dryers.) With the cost of a dryer averaging at about $600, most repairs for this more basic machine will cost less than buying a new unit.
4) Stove: Repair
These days, stoves are looking more like computers than kitchen appliances, what with the digital displays and buttons. Unfortunately all of these extra electronics usually mean extra breakdowns, but in the case of stoves, it is usually less expensive to get a repair than a new unit. (Stoves are expensive, averaging at about $1,000!) So go ahead and get the stove repaired, but be sure to maintain it afterward.
5) Refrigerator: Replace
If you have a problematic refrigerator, take just a moment and picture that refrigerator. Is it one of those old, boxy types with the white door that looks like popcorn? Yes? Well then you should probably replace it. Old refrigerator parts are harder to find and with all of the new models out today, you might be hard-pressed in finding someone who knows how to work with the old dinosaur anyway. A new Energy Star-rated refrigerator could save you anywhere from $100-$200 per year on your energy bills and these energy-efficient fridges reduce your impact on the environment. It’s also not a bad idea to buy an extended warranty with your new fridge since repairs tend to be costly. Check out our post on when and why to buy an extended warranty.
Do you have any advice on replacing versus repairing? Share your thoughts below!