Replacing vs fixing appliances: How to decide

by Carol McCullough Relocation Certified 11/05/2023

open dishwasher with dishes

Sometimes, fixing appliances that are malfunctioning is the simplest and most cost-effective solution to household problems. However, many household appliances can be a challenge to repair, even for the most DIY-savvy homeowners. How do you know when it’s better to replace an appliance completely?

There are several things to consider before deciding whether to repair or replace.

Repair vs. replace: How to estimate

The best way to get a repair estimate is to consult a professional for a quote. 

According to experts, if the cost of a repair is more than 50% of the cost of a replacement, replace the appliance. However, the lifespan of the appliance should also be considered. If the broken appliance is also more than 50% through its expected lifespan, it may be best to replace. Conversely, it may be more worthwhile to repair much newer home appliances.

Know what to expect from major appliances

Major household appliances have general life expectancies based on manufacturer data. For example, an electric stove is expected to last approximately 15 years before needing replacement. Air conditioners and washing machines are expected to last around 10 years when properly maintained.

These are only a few examples, but knowing the expected lifespan of your appliances is crucial to making the decision between appliance repair and appliance replacement. Luckily, there is plenty of information available both online and from manufacturers directly.

When to consider replacing an appliance

If you’re a DIY enthusiast, it might seem most logical to replace your household appliances on your own. However, there are some downsides to consider before breaking out your tools, including:

  • Large or major appliances can be extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver, and you might risk injuring yourself trying to fix them yourself.
  • Tinkering with home appliances can potentially void manufacturer warranties.
  • Replacement electrical parts are usually non-refundable, so choosing the wrong replacement parts can be costly.

In general, the best way to save money is to make sure your household appliances are in excellent condition. With simple, regular maintenance, you can get the maximum amount of time out of an appliance before it will need any major repairs or replacement.

About the Author

Carol McCullough Relocation Certified

As a Fairfield resident with a family commuting daily on Metro North, and our children graduating from Fairfield public schools, I look forward to sharing many of the great attractions in a wonderful community and county! Over the past 18 years with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Properties, I have helped hundreds of buyers and sellers compete their home search and close on the sale of their property. As a Certified Relocation Specialist, my production results rank in the top 4% nationally while delivering exceptional customer service to my clients and their welcomed referrals. Real Estate is one of the most exciting investments you can make. It should be a fun and rewarding experience. Confident with your home marketing decisions and comfortable with the home marketing process is my commitment to you! I am excited to share several new marketing strategies successfully implemented in Southern Fairfield County! Regardless if you are looking to buy, or about to list your current home, you will soon BE AT HOME when working with Carol! *Connecticut Magazine 2022 Award Winner- 12th consecutive year scoring highest in overall customer satisfaction.