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How Do I Know If an Appliance Is Worth Repairing?

You Are Here:   Home > Automatic Appliance Parts Blog > How Do I Know If an Appliance Is Worth Repairing?

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How Do I Know If an Appliance Is Worth Repairing? To repair or replace is a common question for every homeowner. If your appliance isn't doing its job properly, it's time to tackle this conundrum and decide whether you need replacement parts or a whole new installation.

Signs Your Appliance Needs a Repair

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It's important to know when your home appliances are in need of a repair, so you can schedule service as soon as possible. The earlier you can call for these repairs, the better your chances of enjoying a simple and affordable fix. If you allow your appliance to suffer for too long with failing parts, you may find that a repair is no longer a cost-effective solution by the time you get around to addressing the problem.

Watch out for these common signs that your appliances may be in need of a repair:

  • The appliance makes loud noises such as squealing, banging, or grinding.
  • You can hear an audible shift when the appliance changes operating cycles.
  • Your energy bills have increased noticeably with no major change in how you operate your home.
  • The appliance doesn't work properly. For example, the clothes dryer leaves clothes damp, the dishwasher doesn't rinse thoroughly, or your washing machine isn't draining water.


If you notice that your appliance needs a repair, you need to use your appliance manual and troubleshoot the problem or contact a repair professional to help you determine the cause of the issue. Once you know what's wrong, you can decide whether your appliance is worth repairing.

Appliance Warranties and Protections

If your appliance is under warranty, determine whether the necessary repairs are covered under your plan. Most manufacturers will cover defects and failures for at least a year. You can typically purchase extended coverage as well. While the appliance as a whole may lose its coverage after 12 months, the fine print might indicate that certain parts are under warranty for longer.

Warranties won't cover misuse of the appliance or improper installation. The warranty will specify who you need to contact for a repair. In most cases, these technicians don't work directly for the warranty provider, but are rather contracted to act as a go-between for the customer and manufacturer.

Depending on the nature of the damage, your appliances may also be covered under your homeowner's insurance policy. If the appliance was damaged as the result of a lightning strike, fire, or other incident that's included in your homeowner's insurance, contact your insurance company to find out if they will cover the cost of a repair or replacement for your appliance. If these expenses are covered for you, it's definitely worth getting the repair or replacement for the appliance.

Consider the Age of Your Appliance

If your appliance is older, you may want to carefully consider the cost and effort involved in a repair before you go this route. When your appliance is nearing the end of its lifespan, it's often better to invest in a new installation that will serve you better than a short-term repair to the product that you already have.

The average lifespans for common appliances are:

  • Gas Ranges: 19 years.
  • Electric Ranges: 16 years.
  • Freezers: 16 years.
  • Standard Refrigerators: 14 years.
  • Range Hoods: 14 years.
  • Electric Dryers: 14 years.
  • Gas Dryers: 13 years.
  • Garbage Disposals: 13 years.
  • Washing Machines: 12 years.
  • Dishwashers: 12 years.
  • Trash Compactors: 11 years.
  • Microwaves: 8 years.
  • Compact Refrigerators: 8 years.


If you have matching appliances in your kitchen or laundry room, you may want to consider the age of all of them as you're looking into replacements. If you can afford it, replacing multiple appliances at once will help you stick to a matched set and may help you get a discount on the full purchase.

The Cost of a Repair Vs. a Replacement

When you're deciding whether an appliance is worth repairing, it's helpful to compare the cost of a repair to the cost of a replacement. A good rule of thumb is to go for a replacement if your appliance if more than halfway through its lifespan and the cost of a repair is more than 50% of the cost of buying a new product.

Have a professional provide you with a quote for the repair or look up the cost of the appropriate replacement parts and tools if you're planning to do it yourself. Next, research some replacement models that offer similar or improved functionality.

One valuable thing to consider is that a new appliance will almost always offer extra cost savings when you're replacing an outdated installation. You can save over $100 a year on water or electricity in many cases, when you replace an outdated model with a new Energy Star rated appliance. Multiply this by the lifespan of the appliance and you could put $1,000 or more in your pocket over the total life of the product.

Benefits of an Appliance Replacement

If you're considering a new appliance installation, there are many benefits that you can reap from going this route when your current installation is facing costly repairs. New appliances offer enhanced technology for better functionality. For example, a new washer and dryer may extend the life of your clothing. New products offer innovative new features.

Consider options like Kenmore's Grab-N-Go door that lets you stash your most-used items in a separate storage compartment, so you don't have to open the whole door to get to them. You can also purchase refrigerators with a camera inside so you can peek at the contents on your smartphone while you're shopping at the store. Clothes dryers with smart sensors will stop the load as soon as your items are dry, so you don't waste extra time or energy on laundry. Some washing machines are so efficient they can do your laundry with just one cup of water.

Consider all your options when you're thinking about an appliance replacement so you can determine which course of action is best for your needs. If you decide to repair your appliance, you can cut your costs with wholesale parts from Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation.