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Repair or Replace?

Spring cleaning is around the corner. As you sweep through your home, you can celebrate that we’ve made it through another winter. You can also use the time to consider the age of your appliances and whether they are still up to par and doing the job they should. If you’ve lived in your home for years and haven’t thought about it before, you might be due for an upgrade, especially if they weren’t new when you bought your home. 

While we wish that our appliances would last forever, they “just don’t make them like they used to.” Sometimes a simple repair is all you need but if the item is older, it might be time to replace. On the upside, buying a new appliance will give you all the newest bells and whistles and the peace of mind that you’re embarking on a whole new lifespan. 


Lifespan: 10–12 years

When a refrigerator deteriorates, you might notice excessive condensation or that it’s not cooling properly. According to Home Depot, you should investigate the rubber sealing around the door to see if there are water droplets or signs of mildew. Additionally, if the back of the refrigerator feels warm, you should check to see if the motor is running correctly. Excessive heat can indicate that the coils needed to be replaced or perhaps the whole appliance. 

You may also notice issues with your food not staying fresh, which can mean that the refrigerator is not maintaining the necessary temperature throughout. If the unit is ten years old, it might be time to start shopping for a replacement. 


Lifespan: 10–13 years

Have you found that your dishes just aren’t getting clean the same way? Is your dishwasher making a lot of noise mid-cycle? It could be an issue with the connection to the water supply or even a filter that needs to be changed. But if the cost to fix it exceeds roughly half the original cost, a replacement might be the better option.

Stove and Oven

Lifespan: 10–15 years

A stove and oven’s average lifespan is up to 15 years—occasionally longer if you have a gas range. Pay close attention to how long it takes to heat. If the flame isn’t blue, you can try cleaning he grates and burner caps. If it’s already clean, you may need to replace. If the burner won’t turn on at all, there may be something wrong with the spark igniter. This requires repair as soon as possible.

Other issues that may arise are buttons that malfunction or damage to the tempered glass. If the trouble you’re having may be fixed with a replacement part, there is a chance it might be covered under warranty. But you will still need to find someone to do the labor to fix it so it’s worth weighing the costs of repairing vs replacing. 

Coffee Maker

Lifespan: Approximately 5 years

Five years is the standard timeline for coffee machines and espresso makers. If the water is not getting hot enough, the pump breaks or the machine is leaking, it is likely time to replace. Even if you try to repair it, another issue might crop up right after and you’ll be spending more money to fix something that should be replaced entirely. 

Washer and Dryer

Lifespan: Approximately 10 years

The most common issue is leakage. If you notice puddles or a jump in your water bill, the issue might be appliance related. You should also pay attention to noise as that shows that the appliance is starting to wear. 


Lifespan: 10–12 years

Replacing a new microwave is probably worth the time might spend trying to replace parts for an inefficient, aging appliance. Pay close attention to how your food cooks and if you see any sparks or notice a burning smell. 

If you need a recommendation for one of these products, you can subscribe monthly or annually to Consumer Reports to get in-depth product reviews and links to great deals. If you’re curious about what appeals to today’s buyers, feel free to reach out and I can help point you in the right direction. 


Questions? Contact Heidi

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