Tech Freelancers: When Appliances Break Should You Repair or Replace?

Tech Freelancers: When Appliances Break Should You Repair or Replace?


If you work in the tech sector, chances are that you’re a freelancer and work from home. If that’s the case, then you would know that it’s always inconvenient when appliances break. Your dryer might stop and leave you with wet clothes, your fridge might break down and cost you a coupe hundred dollars in wasted food, or your water heater might flood your home unexpectedly. The next question is always whether you should replace the appliance or get it fixed. Follow this guide to know whether you should repair or replace your appliances.

Know the Life Expectancy of Your Appliance

FanAppic - Oven Disaster

Image via Flickr by phlyingpenguin

First, understand that appliances don’t last forever. You can extend the life of your appliances with proper care and maintenance, but you’ll need to replace them at some point or another. Take a look at the estimated life expectancy of these common household appliances:

  • Dishwasher: nine years
  • Refrigerator: 13 years
  • Range and Oven: 14 years
  • Washing Machine: 10 years
  • Water Heater: 10 to 11 years
  • Furnace: 18 years
  • Air Conditioner: 15 years

Analyze the Costs

Next, analyze the cost difference between repairing and replacing an appliance. In general, you can expect the cost of repairing an appliance to be around 20 to 30 percent of the cost to replace it. However, the cost could be much higher, depending on what the problem is. You won’t know until you get a repair estimate.

If your appliance isn’t too old and the cost to repair it is reasonable, you should probably get it repaired. Always proceed cautiously, though, because you can’t predict when your appliance will need service again. You might end up spending more money than you anticipated on repairs over the lifetime of an appliance.

If the cost to repair an appliance is close to the price of replacing it, you’re usually better off just buying a new appliance. Before taking the plunge, look at your household budget and make a decision based on what you can afford. If you can, save a little money each month so that you have funds set aside to pay for new appliances when you need to replace them instead of using a credit card.

Make a Smart Decision

If you decide to repair your appliance, get several estimates so that you don’t have to spend more money than necessary. Also, check to see if your appliance is still under warranty. You might also get a discount by having your appliance repaired where you originally purchased it. Choose your technician carefully so that you’ll feel confident that the repair will be done right the first time.

When replacing appliances, look for ones that uses less energy. For instance, when shopping for a new heating system, you’ll find heat pumps with a range of energy ratings. Older appliances typically use more energy than newer ones, thanks to technological advances. You could easily save on energy costs by buying a new appliance.

If you own a home, you’re going to have to deal with appliance repairs eventually. To make a smart decision, know what to expect from your appliances and analyze the repair and replacement costs carefully.