Replacing vs fixing appliances: How to decide

by Judy White 01/19/2024

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

Judy White

Hi, I'm Judy White and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.