You open the freezer to grab some mint chocolate chip ice cream and no artic breeze hits you. The container is soft, and the dessert is mushy. Don’t even think about the meat you might have just lost. But is it time to get a new refrigerator with a freezer, or do you just need a part replaced? Knowing which way to go with this can cost, or save, hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

So, when do you repair instead of replace an appliance?

When a trained technician can repair your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, or another type of household appliance for cheaper than a new one will cost, it is a smart option to pay them for their expertise. The repair should come with the expectation that the part and repair will last a reasonable amount of time. This saves you money and the hassle of shopping for and replacing your existing one.

Before you call a repair technician, do your best to find out exactly what your appliance isn’t doing. The more information you can give, the easier it will be to diagnose and fix your problems.

So, What Are the Signs of a Failing Home Appliance?

When your appliance is no longer working at its usual performance level, it is trying to tell you that failure is right around the corner. The signs depend on the appliance. They could include not heating or cooling as fast as normal or to the correct temperature. Abnormal smells or sounds are also indicators that something is wrong. Some appliances, like dishwashers, have error lights that can let you know what is malfunctioning. For others, such as dryers, you just have to pay attention to the differences that lack of performance brings, such as having damp clothes at the end of a cycle.

Visual signs of a failing appliance can include fraying, broken, or cracked electrical cords. When an appliance starts to not work quite right, it is important to check the cord first because of the possible fire hazard. Leaking of any kind of material is also a visual giveaway that something is going wrong. Try to identify what it is and where it might come from so you can inform your technician on the call.

So, When is a Replacement a Better Idea?

If your appliance is fairly old, 10 years or older depending on what it is, then you might want to skip the multiple repair costs and buy a replacement. Cost is the deciding factor. Will it cost more to keep paying to get it fixed or a new one? Many appliances today have energy-saving attributes that help you use less electricity or water and lower your utility bills. That can be a consideration when looking at purchasing a new washer and dryer, for example.

A replacement is a better idea if the appliance has been damaged in some way and could pose a safety hazard in the future. Even if it is still working properly at the moment, if the integrity of the safety features has been compromised at all, keeping it could be a risk not worth taking.

Related Questions

So, How Can You Extend the Life of Your Appliances?

Keeping your investment clean is the best way to make it last as long as possible. No matter what the appliance is, follow the cleaning instructions in the manual and only use appropriate products. You should also schedule routine maintenance for units like heating and cooling systems.

So, What is the Best Way to Clean Your Oven and Stove Top?

You can use a mild detergent on your stovetop, baking soda for tougher messes, or a white vinegar and water mixture. The racks can be put in your dishwasher or cleaned by hand. Any commercial oven cleaner is better than using the self-cleaning option for the inside of your oven because of the strain regular use of this high-heat option puts on your appliance.


Paying to repair your freezer or any other large appliance is usually more economical than buying a new one. When those repair bills start to pile up, or you have safety concerns, then maybe your kitchen is ready for an upgrade and a new piece is the better choice.

Before you invest in replacing an old or failing appliance, talk to us at Affordable Appliance Repair. As a family-owned appliance repair service in West Michigan, we treat our customers like they are part of our family. This means you’ll get prompt service that you can trust at the most affordable price around.

Our technicians are extensively trained and knowledgeable in all types and brands of home appliances. So if you are trying to decide between keeping an appliance or hauling it away, call us to schedule a repair service to help you decide.