From dishwashers to refrigerators, range hoods, garbage disposals, washers, and dryers, we all have a wide range of appliances in our homes to make work easier and life more convenient. However, these appliances aren’t created to last forever. Depending on factors such as quality, maintenance, and lifespan, appliances develop faults with time or even break down completely. When this happens, it’s when you realize that that piece of equipment actually adds value to your life and you feel like rushing to the nearest store to purchase a new one. Well, not so fast!
Before replacing that old appliance in your laundry room or kitchen, there are several things you need to put into consideration. Whether it’s your fridge, your garbage disposal, your cooker, or even your coffee maker, you want to ensure that you’re making the right decision… one that is not based on desperate emotions or frustration but fact.
Before you go ahead and replace your old appliances, here are some things you should consider.
Do Your Homework
As a wise shopper, it’s always important to conduct some research about the specific item that you need before approaching the shelves. Once you’ve figured that you need to replace an old appliance, maybe due to poor aesthetics or performance issues the first and most important thing to do is to go online and see what various retailers are stocking. Apart from simply performing a Google search on kitchen item or looking it up on several online retail shops, Meghann from Simple Green Moms, says you’ll also want to check out what previous consumers and professional kitchen appliance product reviews have to say about the specific item you’re looking for. This can help give you a general idea on what to expect, how much you need, the brands to stay away from and where you can buy the specific appliances, among other things. It will also help you narrow down your options to the best product out there, advisably after considering the factors that follow below.
Is Repair an Option?
Maybe you’ve had the appliance for a couple of years now, and for various reasons, you think it’s time to let it go. If the main reason is performance-related, however, it’s worth considering whether or not; repair can make it any better. Well, while repairing the appliance can bring it back to life, it may not be a viable option if you’ve done a couple of repairs already and the problem is persistent. You may also be forced to replace the appliance if it has a damaged part that is no longer on the market or is so hard to find. Additionally, a replacement will be the best way to go if repairing your old unit costs almost the same as getting a new one, which brings us to the next important consideration.
Age of the Appliance
Different appliances have different lifetimes. For instance, most refrigerators are built to last for at least 13 years, whereas dishwashers and microwaves have an average lifespan of 9 years according to HouseLogic. However, this number may be respectively lower or higher for each and every appliance depending on how well it is maintained. All the same, the 50% rule o replacement applies in all of them. If your old appliance has exceeded more than half its expected lifetime and the cost to repair exceeds 50% of the cost of getting a new one, you’ll be better off replacing the old appliance. A unit that has exceeded its warranty may also be worth replacing in case it breaks down.
Electricity is a major pain in the back for most homeowners. Well, there are various reasons for increasing energy bills in general, but when thinking of replacing your old appliance, it’s important to consider how much energy it has been consuming and weigh it against what your new appliance will consume. Have you been experiencing high electricity bills lately? If so, you may want to have a professional appliance handyman or electronics technician come over and assess your appliances to find out which one has been causing these mountain bills.
The good thing is that with technological advancements in the modern-day, newer appliance models with high energy-efficiency ratings have been developed. Before you pick up that new appliance and ditch your old one, it pays to consider just how much it can save you each month as far as energy bills are concerned. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, energy-efficient fridges and washer models have lower energy consumption by as much as 20% or more and can save you money in the long run. Precisely, be sure to check out for an Energy Star Label before picking any new appliance. All the same, it’s not uncommon to find out that you could save even more energy with your old unit by simply switching it off when not in use.
As earlier hinted out, proper maintenance can actually lengthen the lifespan of an appliance while reducing operational costs and improving its energy efficiency. But then again, each and every appliance has its own set of maintenance requirements. While a microwave won’t require much from you other than cleaning, a clothes dryer may require you to check the exhaust vent for proper airflow at least once annually. Your refrigerator, on the other hand, may require you to vacuum the condenser coils regularly to get rid of any dust or debris that could be trapped therein. Well, most importantly, the level of maintenance required for a particular appliance may vary from one brand or model to another. This brings us back to the importance of doing research before replacing your old appliance with a new one.
Will the replacement unit meet your preferences in terms of style? Will it look good in your kitchen? Will it blend with the rest of your interior décor or other appliances in terms of color, texture, and design? These are just of the many questions you may want to ask yourself before replacing your appliance.
Last but not least, you don’t want a replacement appliance that doesn’t fit well in the designated space or one that is too big for your room. You also don’t want an appliance that will force you to break your door, just to get it inside. More so applies for larger appliances such as fridges, washers, ovens, and cookers. Size is a big deal, especially in this age and day when real estate prices are on the rise.
Finally ditching that old appliance and replacing it with a new one can be fun and exciting. It can give your home a fresh new look, not forgetting the value it adds. However, you just don’t wake up one day, decide that this thing has to go, and head to the market for a new one. For a smart decision, it takes planning and considering a number of factors to avoid future regrets, high costs, inconveniences, and disappointments. Luckily, the above pointers provide you with just enough information that you can use to make a well-informed decision.