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Should I Buy a New Appliance? Repair or Replace?

If you are taking the time to read this article, you are probably at a crossroads right now. Your oven is off temperature, your dryer is clunking, your dishwasher is leaking. SO WHAT TO DO? Nowadays our culture thinks one thing — buy a new one. But is that really the answer? You paid good money for this appliance. There really are some things to consider before you make the decision to spend your hard-earned money. 

* How old is it? And bear in mind that numerical age is not necessarily the consideration. How many people are in your home? An empty-nester is going to use that washer far less frequently than a family of 6.  Do you wash horse blankets or comforters frequently — heavy, heavy loads?  How and how frequently you use your machine is a better indicator of true age.

* How much did you pay? If your original investment was minimal (and entry-level unit), and it is older or has been problematic in the past (meaning multiple repairs), then you might look at the situation a little differently. If it is a middle-to-upper-end model and has not been overly problematic in the past, then you definitely SHOULD have it evaluated by a professional prior to making the decision to purchase a new model.

* Have you kept up with routine maintenance? Many of your appliances need routine maintenance to prolong its life. Cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser coils every 6-12 months —6 for your Sub-Zero — can add years to your frig. Cleaning out the lint filter each dryer load and inspecting/cleaning your vent yearly is crucial for your appliance’s health and the safety of your home.  Scraping your dishes prior to loading rather than dumping rice and toothpicks and all sorts of debris from your dinner plates, will help with the pump and sump (and possibly and odor problem). Using a citric-acid wash in your dishwasher and front-load washer will keep the mineral buildup controlled.  See where I am going with this?  Pay a little now to prevent a lot later.

Your best bet is to find a professional to evaluate your appliance BEFORE you head to the store. It is so worth the price of a service call to find out that it was just a hair pin in the pump and your washer is now as good as new, rather than to go out and blow 500+ on a new one if you really didn’t need to. And who needs to add another piece of junk to the landfill!

So be like your folks. Renew, reuse, recycle! Hang on to your appliances until its full life has been expended and save your money for something for that truly rainy day.

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