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Broken Appliance? Here’s How to Determine Whether to Repair or Replace It

No one wants their appliances to break. Unfortunately, no appliance lasts forever, so when your fridge, dishwasher, or oven inevitably breaks down, you’ll have to ask yourself an important question: Should I repair it, or replace it?

The answer to that question is… it depends. So what, exactly, is the best way to determine whether to repair or replace a broken appliance?

A recent article from outlined questions to ask yourself when a home appliance breaks to determine whether to go down the repair or the replace route, including:

How old is the appliance? How old the appliance is plays a huge part in whether it’s more advantageous to repair or replace. If the appliance is 7 or more years old, it’s best to replace it. If it’s newer, however, whether to repair or replace will depend on how new it is (generally, the newer the appliance, the more likely it would benefit from a repair) and how often it’s used (if the appliance is used frequently it will need to be replaced earlier than an appliance that’s used once in a while).
What will the repair cost? Another important factor to weigh is how much the repair will cost. Generally, if the repair will cost more than half the price of replacing the appliance, it’s better to replace; if the cost is less than half of the new appliance’s price, it’s probably best to repair.

Would a replacement appliance save money in the long run? Many newer appliances, particularly Energy Star-certified appliances, are more energy efficient than older models, and can significantly bring down energy costs. If your appliance breaks, replacing it with an Energy Star-certified model could be the best bet in the long run, even if it would be more affordable on the front-end to repair it. For example, an Energy Star-certified washing machine uses about 75 percent less water and 70 percent less energy than a 20-year-old standard washer.


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