We’ve come to rely on basic appliances such as stoves, furnaces, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers in our everyday life. Unfortunately, these items tend to break from time to time. How can you tell when it’s better to fix your broken appliance or buy a new one?

Diagnosing the Problem

When an appliance stops working, the first thing to do is to find out exactly what’s wrong. A good place to begin looking for answers is the manufacturer’s manual for the appliance. This guide often contains basic troubleshooting information that can help you pinpoint the primary concern. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, you can often find similar information on the Internet. If your appliance is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty or an additional home protection plan, contact the warranty company before you attempt any self-repair work.

Calling in the Professionals

If you can’t diagnose the problem yourself, it’s time to get an expert’s opinion. Many repair companies are willing to send experienced technicians to your home to evaluate the malfunction. You’ll have to pay for this visit, but you’re not obligated to agree to the cost of the proposed repair work. Even if you don’t follow up with the recommended repairs, the evaluation is a good starting point for you to assess the value of repairing the appliance. If the work is simple, you may be able to do it yourself for a lot less than the repair estimate.

When It’s Time to Replace

If your appliance is more than eight years old and not covered by a warranty, you may consider replacing it depending ont the repair cost. After several years, the usefulness of most appliances can begin to decrease as the machine ages and needs more maintenance. Even if your appliance is relatively new, though, you may need to replace it. As a general rule, when the projected repair work costs at more than half the cost of a new model, it may be time to consider buying a new appliance. Energy-efficient appliances tend to cost a bit more than traditional models, but they also save money on utility costs in the long run.