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Questions to Ask Before Repairing or Replacing an Appliance

Appliances are essential aspects of life and understanding when they need to be repaired or replaced is important. In this post, we examine some basic questions you should ask yourself before replacing or repairing any appliance.

How Much Would It Cost?

Generally, the larger the appliance the costlier it is. So if your stove breaks, you’re looking at a major investment to buy a new one. But if your microwave goes, you can purchase one for under $75. Consumer Reports advises that if the cost to repair your appliance is greater than half the cost of a new one, it makes sense to replace it. Obviously you won’t know how much the repair would cost without consulting an appliance repair service. At Dave’s Appliance, our experts can diagnose your appliance’s problem and give you an estimate for the repair. With all of that information, you can make an informed decision.

How Much Do You Value It?

Other than cost, you have to consider how much you value your current appliance. Your refrigerator/freezer may have external ice and water dispensers, pull-out shelving, and other features you really appreciate. Your washer and dryer may fit just perfectly into the space in your utility room. Maybe you love to cook and bake and your stove suits you perfectly. Your appliances could be built-in and that customization is worth preserving. It might even be that your appliances coordinate with your decor. These are definitely legitimate reasons to hesitate about replacing them when they break. Again, a visit from one of the friendly members of Dave’s Appliance team will help you understand the extent of your problem.

How Old Is It?

In the appliance world, there is a general 50% rule: replace an appliance that is more than halfway through its expected life span and requires repair work that’s more than half its original cost. The average lifespan of appliances are as follows (in years):
Dishwasher: 9
Dryer: 13
Electric stove: 13
Exhaust fan: 10
Freezer: 11
Garbage Disposal: 12
Gas stove: 15
Microwave: 9
Range hood: 14
Refrigerator: 13
Trash Compactor: 6
Washer: 10

How Energy Efficient Is It?

Often, the environmental impact of repairing or replacing isn’t considered at all. But it’s something for you to consider. If your appliance is old and inefficient, it’s using a lot of electricity. That’s bad for the environment and bad for your utility bills. If your appliance was made after 1992, it should have an Energy Star Rating to let you know how efficient it is. You can compare it to current appliances’ efficiency. On the other hand, your old appliance can’t just be thrown out. Major household appliances are banned from landfills in Wisconsin and the state urges that they be reused or recycled. In many places in Wisconsin, appliances are not picked up at the curb with other recyclables, nor are they accepted at many general recycling drop-off sites. It may be the more environmentally-responsible choice to repair rather than replace.

Would Appliance Maintenance Help?

The lifespan of all of your appliances will be extended if you are conscientious about maintenance. You can do a lot of the maintenance yourself; you can clean out the dryer vent, vacuum the condenser coils of your refrigerator and freezer, and keep your stove-top clean. Those small maintenance practices will make a difference. You can also call the experts at Dave’s Appliance to come and give your appliances a tune-up once or twice a year. Getting into this habit will prevent problems from happening and definitely minimize the need for repair or replacement.

With the right information, you can make a sound decision about whether your appliance needs replacing or repairing. With the right maintenance, that decision will be postponed. If you have worries or concerns about any of your appliances, contact the experts at Dave’s Appliance. We will help you sort out your options.

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Helpful Hints

Things to check before you call:

  • CHECK for a blown fuse
  • CHECK that the appliance is plugged in
  • CHECK that the dryer vent is clean
  • CHECK that refrigerator controls are at the proper setting