Appliance Repair or Replace

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To repair or to replace – that is the question when it comes to appliance repair. Especially when aging appliances are part of the equation. Let me save you an internet search – next time you think appliance repair near me, think Alpha Tech Appliances. When an appliance starts to become more trouble than good, and it is no longer working efficiently, it is easy to know that a replacement is needed. That being said, appliances often breakdown in some degree over time and a simple fix could expand its life considerably. This can make the ol’ repair or replace conundrum that much more convoluted.

Like most things in life, this decision weighs heavily on finances. If money is tight a quick fix might be your best option, but if you are financially comfortable enough, replacing your aging model with a new, energy-efficient appliance is a no-brainer. Overflowing washing machines, a fridge that won’t get cold, and a dishwasher that leaves dirt and grime left on your dishes – are just some of the dilemmas a homeowner may face when dealing with aging appliances. Regardless of the option you choose, the experts at Alpha Tech Appliances are here to help every step of the way and even put together this handy guide to better help inform your decision.

IS IT REALLY BROKEN?

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When appliances stop working it’s common to fear the worse and jump to conclusions. We immodestly assume its dead, but before you go buying a new one consider the following:

  • Is the appliance plugged in
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped
  • Is the appliance on even ground. Some won’t turn on if on uneven flooring
  • Are the vents and filters full of dust and lint

IS IT STILL UNDER WARRANTY?

Several different factors come into play when deciding whether to replace or repair an appliance. The first thing you should consider is the warranty. Check your owner’s manual – if the appliance is fairly new, there is a good chance that the warranty will cover the replacement of major parts. These parts are typically available for ten years after the manufacturing date, if not longer. Typically, major appliance warranties cover parts and labour for up to a year. If your appliance is still covered, schedule a service call to get things running normally.

IS IT REALLY AT THE END OF ITS LIFESPAN?

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Like most things we buy, our appliances come with average expected lifespans. The following is a breakdown of the average lifespans you can expect for major appliances. But remember, the lifespan of an appliance can vary based on how much usage they are experiencing and what the maintenance schedule is like. As you can imagine, a single person using a washing machine will use it much less frequently than a family would.

ApplianceAverage Lifespan (Years)
Compactor6
Dishwasher9
Disposal12
Dryer13
Exhaust Fan10
Freezer11
Microwave9
Range, electric13
Range, gas15
Range/oven hood14
Refrigerator13
Washer10

HOW TO FOLLOW THE 50 PERCENT RULE

The 50 percent rule says that if your appliance is more than halfway through its expected lifespan, and the cost of one repair is more than 50 percent of the cost of a new one, then you should replace the appliance rather than pay to repair it. Use the above chart and call for a quote and do some quick number crunching to see where you sit. 

CONSIDER DIY SOLUTIONS

If you have some experience working with your hands and are no stranger around a toolbox, the odds are you can likely fix some of your finicky appliances yourself and save on the labour charges. If you can’t find your user manual, just search online for the make and model of your machine, odds are there will be a downloadable PDF waiting for you. Alpha Tech Appliance wants to make life easier for you if you choose the DIY route and have put together a handful of blogs that touch on repairing numerous different appliances. These include dishwasher repair, oven repair and stove repair, washing machine repair, dryer repair, and more! But before you get too excited, there are a few things to consider before beginning a DIY fix:

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Most electrical replacement parts are not refundable, so if you have misdiagnosed the issue, you will have wasted some of your hard-earned dollars

  • Larger appliances are heavy and can pose a dangerous risk. You can potentially injure yourself if you try and move one by yourself
  • Some warranties are instantly void if you mess with the machine yourself rather than consulting a company technician 
  • Be sure to unplug any appliances before attempting to repair them to avoid electrocuting yourself

EXPECT OTHER EXPENSES WHEN REPLACING APPLIANCES

There are often some other expenses, apart from the price of the machine, to consider when it comes to replacing an appliance. In fact, the appliance might be the least of your financial strain when upgrading your appliances.

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  • The new refrigerator you purchase might not even fit in the spot where the old one sat. You might be forced to modify some of your cabinetry in order to accommodate your new fridge. This is why it is so important to measure accurately. 
  • A gas range or gas oven will certainly save you money over time. But it is important to ensure that your house is already equipped with gas connections. If this is not the case, you might be spending thousands of dollars to get a gas line installed in your home or hundreds rerouting the current lines.
  • If you opt for a gas range with all the bells and whistles you might have to upgrade your electrical circuits and add wiring
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New water-saving and energy-efficient appliances can certainly be cost-effective when considering usage and your electrical bill. It is said that a modern fridge uses half the electricity of a fridge built just 20 years ago. But high energy consumption machines that still have life are probably worth keeping as you’ll be spending thousands on the appliances to save hundreds on your bill. Another thing to consider is how long you plan on staying in your home. If you think you’ll be living there for another 10-15 years, it might make sense to upgrade your appliances. However, if you’re moving in the next little while it might be a good idea to let the next homeowner worry about upgrading the appliances to ones of their liking.

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Another great way to prolong the life of your machine is by adopting a maintenance schedule. When it comes to things like a clothes dryer, for instance, check the exhaust fan at least once a year for any clogs or debris build-up. You should also periodically vacuum the coils at the back of your refrigerator and remove any dust and other debris. This will allow the unit to use less electricity to keep cool. Keep your range free of food debris and ensure you are not blocking the flow of gas. You should also clean the oven based on manufacturer recommendations while adjusting the rate depending on how often you are using it. Regularly running your dishwasher and making sure not to overload it will also help prolong the appliance’s life. Lastly, we come to the preference of style. If you are someone that needs uniformity and consistency in the kitchen, you might want to replace all appliances at once. You might treat your next appliance repair as a sign that it’s time to replace the entire fleet.

Call Us

It is always recommended to consider repairing first rather than replacing, as more often than not a simple quick fix will have your machine running like new again. And always keep in mind extra costs like the need for additional wiring and connections, and potential renovations to fit new appliances into place. The next time you’re dealing with an appliance that isn’t operating up to its full potential – the first thing you should do is get in touch with the experts at Alpha Tech Appliance – visit us online or call us today for all of your appliance repair needs!

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