To Repair Or To Replace: The Great Appliance Question

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Appliances break. It's a fact of life. Although everyone would love to live in a world where appliance repair is unheard of, it is a very common occurrence. Up to 36 percent of side-by-side refrigerators with ice makers break within the first four years of their life. What's more, appliances tend to break down more often the older they get. Whenever you have a costly repair, you have a serious decision to make: do you want to repair or replace your appliance? The following guide will help you answer your most troubling appliance question. 

Kitchen Appliances

Your refrigerator and stove has an expected life of about 15 years, depending on the make and model. Dishwashers don't last as long, giving out at about 10 years. Typically, most refrigerator and/or stove repairs range between $50 to $200. Considering the cost of appliances these days, that's not a bad price. However, you must also consider the age of your appliance and how efficient it is. If it is using a lot of energy or if it will likely break or die within the next few years, you may want to consider replacing it. 

Laundry Room Appliances

The appliances in your laundry room, namely your washer and dryer, will last up to 12 years, but anything over 8 years is considered a bonus. If yours is only a few years old and, hopefully, still under warranty, you should definitely get it fixed. If they're old or lacking in features, it might be time to go shopping. 

Utility Appliances

Hot water heaters last about 10 years and furnaces last up to 20 years. Most hot water repairs are inexpensive, so you may wish to get as much life out of yours as you can. Furnaces, however, are another story. Some of the repairs can get quite expensive. Always weigh the cost of the repairs against the cost of purchasing a new unit.

Small Appliances

Small appliances, such as mixers, toasters and the like, have very short lives, depending on how often you use them and the quality of each individual appliance. Toasters last approximately 5 years, which is the average for most small appliances. Since small appliances are inexpensive, it's usually not practical to repair them. As a general rule of thumb, replace small appliances as they break or at the first sign of dysfunction. 

As you can see, there are many considerations you must make before you decide to repair or replace your broken appliance. Always consider the age of the appliance as well as the cost of the repair. If you've got an eye for a newer model, take that into consideration as well.