Consider age and repair cost when deciding to repair or replace

Consider age and repair cost when deciding to repair or replace

When an older appliance is on the fritz, it usually makes sense to replace it rather than to sink money into repair after repair. However, when an appliance breaks down before its expected life span has passed, a repair could be the better option.
Before calling a repair tech or heading to the nearest store to buy something new, consider:


The age of the appliance. Use the 50 percent rule: If your appliance is more than halfway through its useful life, and if the repair will cost more than 50 percent of the price of a new one, head for the store.


The National Association of Realtors estimates a dishwasher should last a good nine years; a clothes dryer for 13 years; a garbage disposal for 12 years; an electric range for 13 years; an exhaust fan for 10 years; a freezer for 11 years; a microwave and refrigerator for 13 years and a washing machine for 10 years. 


The warranty. Newer appliances usually come with a warranty of at least a year and sometimes two, on labor and parts. If the broken device is still covered, call for service. 


Your budget. If the repair bill is through the roof and you can afford to buy a new appliance, you could save a little money in the long run.


However, consider the hidden costs of buying new. For example, will you have to pay to have the replacement appliance delivered and installed? Will you need to modify a space for the new appliance to fit?


Newer models of refrigerators, water heaters and dishwashers are much more energy- and water-efficient than older versions which could make a difference on your utility bills if you replace rather than repair.

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