Home Appliances: When To Throw In The Towel

by Betty Bite

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There are two types of folks on the planet. Those who never throw anything away, who try to get every last little bit of use out of everything they purchase, who will wait years before upgrading their phone or buying that new TV. And then you have the people who love to get the latest-and-greatest anything, who trade in the old thing for the new thing, and keep their finger on the pulse of all the newest high-tech gadgets. 

No matter where you fall on the scale, you’ve no doubt noticed that these days, it seems like appliances are made to break down faster than they used to. It seems like the moment you’ve got that expensive washing machine paid off, a hose breaks. No sooner than you start pondering upgrading your TV, a bulb blows. It’s like they install a timer in these home appliances, ready to go off at the most convenient moment to force you to go and buy a newer, better appliance. 

But if you’re the type of person who prefers to save money, who likes to use your appliances until you can’t use them any more, preparing to repair items if you can, you may have a hard time biting the bullet and purchasing something new. So how do you know when it’s time to upgrade? There are a few tips to help you decide. 

Repair or Replace?

There’s no harm in doing a little research before making a big purchase – in fact, it’s the responsible thing to do. Taking the time to weigh your options is your best bet. For instance, consider repairing your fridge before replacing it outright. 

Call around to a few repairmen to explain what’s going on with your appliance, find out if it’s something easily repaired,and get a few quotes for parts and labor. Research if it’s something you can repair yourself, and if so, how much parts will cost, how time intensive it will be, etc. Then research prices of new appliances and run a comparison. How much more energy efficient/water efficient etc will a new item be compared to the old? 

You may find that repairs are easy and pretty affordable, and that you can’t justify replacing something that still has life in it yet. 

Or you may decide that it’s not worth the time and money spent and that upgrading will benefit your family in more ways than one, and take the old appliance to be recycled. You won’t know until you’ve done your research! 

Exploring Other Options

If you have decided to replace your appliance, you may be feeling uncomfortable about trashing the old one, if it still has potential, or about finding the funds to buy something brand new. Luckily, there exists a remedy for both of these scenarios: used appliances. 

If your old appliance could be salvaged with a repair, but you simply don’t have the time or the know-how, you can always donate it or sell it very cheaply to someone who can repair it for a fair price. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! You can also recycle appliances and get a chunk of change! 

If you’re needing a new appliance, but can’t afford a thousand-dollar dishwasher from the home goods store, why not consider perusing local ads for gently used appliances? Local flea markets, Habitat for Humanity and other used items’ stores can also carry these appliances, often for pretty decent prices. Buying used is a valid option!

Hiring a Repair Person vs. DIY

When deciding to repair an appliance, do your research carefully before tackling the project on your own. If you’re not experienced in repair, you may make the problem worse and end up with an appliance that’s never coming back from the dead. However, if you follow detailed tutorials or guides, you may be able to fix your item with a little know-how and a few purchased parts. 

Sometimes, the cost of hiring a repair person can be surprisingly affordable and a worthy investment, if they can salvage the appliance and give you several more years with it. Call around and get quotes from a few different repair services in your area to find out more. 

If your home appliances are going kaput, the first step is to sit down and weigh your options. Repair or replace? When repairing, do you go the DIY route or hire someone? What do you want to do with your old appliance? Donate, sell used, or recycle? And if you’re buying new, how do you get the best price on a great appliance? It’s all down to the research. Take the time to do your homework and you’ll be more than happy with all your home appliances, guaranteed. 

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