Things are definitely not built to last as they used to be in the past. In fact, some are built to deliberately wear out earlier so the user has to buy another one. This alone makes it much different than the way things were in the past. When is the last time you’ve seen a TV repair center.
These days, when something isn’t working properly the only recourse is to get a new one. This isn’t always the case, however. There are actually times when your appliances could be repaired and still have some life in them.
The problem is knowing when the time is right to repair or to replace. If you cross a line then you may end up spending more on repairs than it would cost to simply buy another.
In this article, we will go over some of the signs that it is time to move on from your appliance and buy new or to fix it up.
#1 – Is there a better version available?
One obvious reason that you might want to replace your appliance is that there is a more energy efficient model out there now. Instead of repairing it and costing yourself the money for that you are also potentially costing money in lost savings as you pay more on your energy bills.
New models have some government requirements on how energy efficient they are, so if your appliance is older than the last updated law, then chances are you’re paying higher bills than you would be paying with a new one.
Another consideration is sometimes things evolve into better products over time. For instance, if you have a ductless air conditioner, but it doesn;t also have a heating function, then when you need to repair, you may want to upgrade to combination heating and air conditioning units. You’re then upgrading to a product that is much better value than if you had gotten your old one fixed that only can do one thing.
#2 – How old the appliance is vs the cost of repair
There is a very simple formula to follow to understand when you may have hit the limit to repairing the appliance vs replacing it. Of course, there are exceptions which we will get to in a minute.
If your appliance is going to cost more than 50% of the cost of a new appliance and is over halfway through the estimated lifespan, then it probably doesn’t make sense to repair it. You can buy new, enjoy the warranty in case things go wrong and also take advantage of some rebates if you are buying an Energy Star rated appliance depending on where you live.
Now, there are exceptions. For instance, how much is it going to cost to install the new appliance? This should highly factor into your decision as you may want to repair and get some more time to save up for the inevitable installation costs for a new one.
#3 – Would better maintenance help?
A repair can make sense when the malfunction is a result of not maintaining the appliance well. In which case, the repair can bring the appliance back up to snuff and then regular maintenance can extend the life of it.
A good example is a tankless water heater as they can accumulate lime deposit on the heat exchanger and cause it to malfunction. This can be avoided by maintaining and descaling your tankless heater, but if you haven’t already then you can after the repair.
Once the repair is made and you can put it on a regular maintenance plan then it makes more sense to repair it. When you have it maintained, it will end up working practically like a new unit. In the case of a tankless water heater that has scale built up, then the efficiency drops by up to 20% so descaling it will get it back to being energy efficient.
#4 – Is it out of date?
Maybe your dishwasher still has some life in it and a repair will get it back to its old self. Yet, you’re not sure that you even want to. There could be a newer version that looks better in your kitchen. For instance, you may have recently renovated and gone with a more modern and sleek style, but your dishwasher sticks out like a sore thumb with its outdated style.
At least, you can probably sell the old dishwasher if the repair is minimal and allows you to upgrade guilt free.