What do you do when a home appliance in your house gets broken? Replace it or repair it? Well, the choice, besides being personal, also needs to be right and well informed. Since such is the case, we will try to help you find a definite answer to the debate on appliance repair vs. replacement.
We understand deciding whether to fix a malfunctioning appliance or springing for a new one might feel like a costly guess, especially when you cannot estimate the correct difference between both. So, we have done the legwork for you by compiling an easy guide on whether you should repair or replace a home appliance.
As per usual, we will begin by giving you some advantages of repairing and replacing a home appliance individually. Afterwards, we will discuss some indicators in the form of questions that will help you make a well-informed decision.
Pros of Repairing an Appliance
When a home appliance stops functioning properly, and you realise that it is on the fritz, it is hard to decide whether you should repair it or replace it with a new one. To help minimise your worries, we’ll take a look at some advantages of repairing an appliance:
There are several reasons to repair a home appliance when they stop functioning, but the most important is that it’s usually cost-efficient to fix something rather than replace it completely. As such, you do not need to replace an air conditioner if it takes around PKR 6,000 for service. Comparatively, a new cooling unit will cost you around PKR 50,000 on average.
Not to mention that a new air conditioning unit will also take a toll on the natural environment. Let’s say you are trying to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, repairing, recycling, and up-cycling things are less wasteful than replacing.
Considering all this, we can clearly see that repairing a home appliance is a cost-effective decision, but it will also help reduce your carbon footprint.
On a side note, if you need help with repairing a broken air conditioner, take a look at our recently published guide where we have shared the common problems along with their solutions.
Now, let’s compare the pros of repairing an appliance with the pros of replacing.
Pros of Replacing an Appliance
As mentioned earlier, there are certain pros of replacing an appliance. The first and most important one is that a brand-new item will most certainly be in top-shape compared to the old or used one. If your air-conditioner is excessively leaking [beyond repair] or the outer unit covered in filth – getting a new one is an obvious solution.
Moreover, a new cooling unit will definitely perform better and reduce your electricity expenses. If the old one has completely depreciated and its life is nearly ending, it may ask for recurring maintenance. So, a new air conditioner might be your best bet in this regard.
Investing in a brand-new cooling unit opens up other choices as well. Let’s say the nearby store has a range of products with both modern and environment-friendly designs – replacing your old unit gives you a chance to pick a new one that fits a green lifestyle.
And oh, just to be sure if you have all the essentials available in your kitchen, take a look at our compilation of essential kitchen appliances that will make your life easier and the cooking process faster.
Appliance Repair vs. Replacement – Some Tips on How to Decide
As discussed above, both repairing and replacing a broken appliance have their set of advantages – the problem is figuring out which suits your position. So, if the above-mentioned pros of appliance repair vs. replacement haven’t helped you enough, you can work your way through by taking a look at these basic factors:
- Cost Comparison
- Current Value
- Life of an Appliance
- Personal Association
- Struggles of Repairing
There are times when repairing your appliances is still worth it as compared to replacement. Let’s take a fully automatic washing machine as an example. Buying a brand-new one is a big expense, and dumping the old one every time it needs repair isn’t an option.
However, the same rule does not and will not apply to other appliances in your house, such as clothing iron or a kitchen faucet, since they are much cheaper to replace. If you have a broken iron that goes cold every other day, and you don’t know how to fix it yourself, replacing it could cost less than taking it to a repair centre. Similarly, it isn’t worth paying a plumber to repair a broken faucet every now and then when you could buy a whole new set for under PKR 1,000.
To figure out the cost of appliance repair vs. replacement, you can use a rule called “the 50% rule”. As the rule implies, if repairing an item costs at least half the price of buying a new one, you should opt for replacing it without any second thoughts. Something that goes out of function once will most probably malfunction again. So, it is better to buy a new one with the money you plan on spending to make the old one functional.
The value of most items in your house declines as they get old such as window AC – although a lot of people have it in their homes, nobody buys brand-new since the manufacturing has stopped, and they have been replaced with better functioning designs. Furniture, kitchen appliances, and electronics also lose value as they age.
On the other hand, some appliances in your house age well and gain value over time. Those items are considered antiques or will become antiques in the coming years. The money you put into the maintenance of an antique is more or less like an investment. Let’s say you have an antique piece of furniture in your house that has been within the family for generations. So, if you spend today to fix it, you can reap the fruits in the future.
However, it isn’t always obvious which one of your possessions is likely to become an antique and gain value in the future. It can be anything from a kitchen faucet to a landline set.
Life of An Appliance
As an owner, your first concern should be the life of an appliance. If repairing doesn’t extend its life, there’s no point in spending money to fix it. It needs to be replaced within a few months anyway.
Again, an air conditioner will be a good example in this regard. The average lifespan of a cooling unit is 5 to 7 years, so if your old unit has lasted more than that, you should feel lucky. Moreover, there’s no point in trying to fix an outdated model that requires heavy maintenance and affects your electricity bills as well.
On the other hand, an old appliance can be worth repairing sometimes if they are well-manufactured. Not to mention, older articles are often stronger than modern ones, and they can survive rough use. Also, anything that was cheap to begin with, isn’t worth fixing.
The easiest way to determine whether to buy a new appliance or repair the old one is to look for personal sentiments attached to that item. It is not always about money, sometimes an item is close to your heart due to the memories attached to it. If the broken appliance is something your mother had gifted, then a new can never replace it.
For example, you have an old tape recorder that your mother gifted you as a teen, or have something you bought from your first paycheque. It might not be as fancy as other items in your house, but it is something that reminds you of your roots. It has been there for so long that it has become a part of the home’s character. Even if the repair costs more than replacing, it’s worth it on a personal level.
Similarly, it is equally important to stop paying for repair expenses for something you don’t like. Let’s say that your kitchen has an old, rustic, and old-fashioned faucet that you can’t stand. Replacing it with something that goes well with your personality and kitchen’s theme is totally worth it.
Struggles of Repair
If you are wondering when to replace a large appliance, consider the struggles of its maintenance and upkeep. You can do some repairs by yourself without any hassles, such as fixing a broken chair, a leaking faucet, or a clogged sink.
Other items in your house can be challenging to fix, such as electronics, and can cost you more than the replacement. It also depends on whether you can find a professional repair shop that understands the core problem and fixes it properly. So, if you have something that you can’t fix and it keeps breaking even after you get it repaired, you know what the appropriate option here is.
The last thing that will help you decide better is to see whether the item is heavy on your pocket. Let’s calculate how!
Is it Costing You Money?
Energy and utility bills are important factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace a broken appliance. Most old appliances [of older models] aren’t designed to save energy. You can save more money by switching to an energy-efficient version of an appliance.
There are abundant options and alternatives in the market. From energy-efficient fridges to environment-friendly dishwashers, you can find everything. To have an idea of whether an old appliance is expensive to keep, take a look at the below-mentioned indicators. The lifespan of most home appliances is up to five years on average, so we will be using it in the formula.
- Calculate the per year costs of an old item. Include all the expenses required to keep it functional, such as water and electricity bills. Multiply the result by five. The number you now have is the five-year operating cost of an appliance.
- The next step is to find out how much it will cost to repair the same item. Add that repairing cost to the number you got in the former step. You will now have the total cost of keeping that appliance functional for the coming five years.
- Now take into consideration the cost of a brand-new article. Compare the two numbers and opt for the lower one.
So, this was our take on the debate about appliance repair vs. replacement. We have tried to give you a definite answer to the most asked question, whether or not it is worth replacing a home appliance.
Before signing off, we would like to add a few more things. Owing to the ever-changing technology, getting old products fixed isn’t certainly as easy as it used to be. Not to mention that you can get a replacement for any product in your home at a cost that’s guaranteed to be less than what you paid to purchase it some time ago.
On the other hand, technology has also made it easier for people to connect with each other. The internet is full of forums where you can connect with individuals who own the same appliances. There are blogs, DIY guides, and video tutorials on how to fix different appliances at home. From clothing to computers, these guides are extremely easy to comprehend and apply.
Tell us which side you are on in the debate between appliance repair vs. replacement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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