Is your refrigerator making a strange sound? Does your range take longer than usual to heat up? Do your dishes barely get clean in the dishwasher?
Appliances don’t last forever. In fact, even the most expensive appliances on the market will need to be replaced at some point.
So how do you know when it’s time to get a new fridge or range? What are the signs that your dishwasher or microwave is about to die?
Today we’re answering an important question: how often should you replace your kitchen appliances?
How Long Do Appliances Last?
On average, most appliances last about 10 to 15 years. In some cases, they can last 20 years. In other cases, they might only last 8 or 9. It all depends on the quality of the item and how often you use it.
If your appliances are working in tip-top shape, by all means, keep them! There’s no specific time period for when you should replace them.
Unless you’re about to remodel your kitchen, you probably won’t even think about replacing an appliance until it starts malfunctioning. And at that point, you’ll need to either replace it or have it repaired.
Is It Better to Repair or Replace?
Once an appliance starts to go on the fritz, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth repairing or replacing. If you’ve wanted a new appliance, a minor problem is a great excuse to buy a new one (as long as you can afford it).
But if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider doing a small repair instead.
Not sure if you should buy new or fix the one you have?
Start by getting an estimate for the repair. If it’s a minor repair, it may be worth it to have it fixed rather than to shell out the money for a brand new one.
On the other hand, if the repair is going to cost more than 50% of the price of a new one, you'll want to weigh your options. At that point, it’s usually best to make the investment in a brand new appliance, especially if it’s already in that 10 to 15 year range.
Technology is Always Improving
As a homeowner, you know that appliances aren’t cheap. But sometimes buying a newer model (even if your old one is still working) can be cost effective.
With advancements in technology, new appliances are more energy-efficient than they’ve ever been before. So even if your 10-year-old refrigerator is still functioning well, you might want to invest in a new one to save you money on your energy bill!
How to Know When Your Appliances Need Replacing
It’s no fun when your refrigerator stops working after you’ve stocked it full of food from the grocery store. It’s even worse when your range won’t turn on when you’re about to cook a Thanksgiving turkey.
Appliances can malfunction at any time, so it’s important to know what to look for before they crap out on you completely.
There are a few telltale signs that your refrigerator is on its last leg. If it’s noisier than usual or if food spoils faster than it should, it’s probably time for a new one.
Feel the back of it. Is it hotter than usual? It’s time to think about replacing it. Open up your freezer. If you see excessive frost buildup, something is wrong.
The biggest indication that your range isn’t working is that it doesn’t heat to the proper temperature or takes longer than usual to reach that temp. But that’s not the only thing to look out for.
Cracked cooktops, a malfunctioning control panel, and broken knobs are all good reasons to replace (or at least repair) your range.
The whole purpose of a dishwasher is that it cleans and dries your dishes, so you don’t have to do it by hand. If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning or drying your dishes properly, it’s time for a new one.
It’s also time to replace it if the door won’t close properly, if it’s cracked on the inside, or if it’s starting to rust. And if it leaks water or water remains at the bottom when the cycle is over, it’s definitely time for a new one.
Whether you have a built-in microwave or a countertop model, you can be sure of one thing: it will not last forever. It’s time to replace your microwave if it sparks, smells like it’s burning, or if the door won’t seal and close properly.
Pay attention to the keypad as well. If you have buttons that stick or can’t be pressed, it’s time for a new microwave oven.
Play It Safe
All appliances are powered by either electricity or gas, and both can be dangerous.
If you know that one of your appliances isn’t working properly, have it serviced by an expert. This is especially important if you have gas appliances, as they can cause gas leaks and release carbon monoxide that can be deadly.
Buy a Warranty for New Appliances
High-end appliances can cost thousands of dollars, and the more expensive the item is, the more important it is to buy a warranty. Just be sure that you know what the warranty includes. There’s no point in paying for one if it only covers limited problems for a short period of time.
(Keep in mind, almost all warranties have limitations and restrict what they will cover).
If you’re buying a discounted or inexpensive appliance, the warranty might not be worth the extra cost.
How Often Should You Replace Your Kitchen Appliances?
Most appliances will last you about 10 to 15 years of regular, everyday use. So if something goes awry after 10 years, you should expect that more problems will follow. There’s a good chance that even if you get it repaired, something else will go wrong as the years go by.
If you’ve gotten more than 15 years out of an appliance and it needs a fix, be grateful that it lasted that long and just buy a new one. Having a faulty appliance is a safety issue and a hazard to your home and to your family.
As you already know, nothing in life lasts forever. So once an appliance hits that 10 year mark, start saving money for a replacement or get ready to pull out that credit card and buy a new one. It’s inevitable.
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