When a major appliance in your home breaks down, you are faced with a decision: Do you pay to have the appliance repaired or do you replace it? According to Consumer Reports, the best choice in this situation will depend on the age of the appliance, its fair market value and whether it is currently under warranty.
Appliances Under Warranty
If your appliance is still under warranty, file a written complaint to the company you purchased it from before investing in any repairs or replacements. If the warranty covers the problem in question, the manufacturer will often offer you free repairs or replace the product at no charge. If the warranty doesn’t cover the problem in question, you must decide whether you are willing to pay for repairs yourself.
Repairing Older Appliances
If you have an older appliance, it may be wiser to simply replace it when it breaks down. According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, standard appliances that are more than three years old and that have no remaining warranty coverage often cost more to repair than they are worth. If your appliance was a high-end model, then making a repair after three years may still be financially sound. However, once your appliance reaches eight years of age, replacement is usually the best option, regardless of the original purchase price.
Additional Considerations for Appliance Lifespan
Before deciding whether to repair or replace an appliance make sure that the needed replacement parts are available. Try to obtain an estimate before making any purchases. If the estimate seems too high, based on how long the appliance is likely to last after the repair, consider replacing it now. Many appliance owners begin the repair process only to give it up because of cost and inconvenience, so learn as much as you can in advance. Nothing is more frustrating than paying to repair and then replace the same appliance.