Kitchen appliances make cooking activities a lot easier and faster to accomplish. From blending fruit into smoothies and kneading dough, to making it possible for fresh food to last longer, kitchen appliances are necessary to modern kitchens. At the very least, kitchens should have a stove for cooking and a refrigerator for food storage.
However, even good quality appliances can get worn and break from years of frequent usage. Some appliances can also malfunction if the engineering or the materials used are poor. When a breakdown occurs, the easiest course of action is to simply replace the appliance with a new one, but doing so can be a big or even unnecessary expense. For example, if a smoky kitchen still leaves you unsure about whether you should call a repair technician or buy a new kitchen hood, follow these steps to help you make the right decision.
Assess the Possible Cause of the Problem
Sometimes the solution is so simple and obvious that you don’t think of it right away. Your basic assessment should answer the following questions:
- Is the appliance connected to a power source? Does it need new batteries, more fuel or simply some time to recharge?
- Is the electrical outlet functioning properly? Does it have the correct voltage?
- Is the appliance dirty? Does it show any signs of damage?
- Who was the last person to use the appliance? Did they encounter any problems when they used it?
Doing a simple rundown like this can help you determine if there is actually a problem in the first place. It can also be helpful to do regular maintenance of your kitchen appliances like cleaning and replacing filters to minimize the risk of problems occurring.
Check If the Appliance Is Still under Warranty
Many stores offer a warranty from the manufacturer when you purchase the appliance. Warranties give you coverage in case the appliance needs to be repaired or has defective parts. If your malfunctioning appliance is still covered by a warranty, you may have it serviced for free. In some cases, the manufacturer may need to replace the entire unit with a new one.
Warranties can last anywhere from a month to several years, so it’s best to hold on to the issued warranty cards and receipts from your purchase for reference. Some stores may also give you the option to pay extra for an extended warranty.
Evaluate the Appliance’s Expected Lifespan
If you’ve had the appliance for more than a few years, consider if it has already exceeded its expected lifespan. Even the highest quality kitchen appliances aren’t meant to last forever, but they do provide a decent number of years in service. Here are the expected average lifespan of common kitchen appliances:
- Refrigerator – 13 years
- Gas hob – 15 years
- Cooker hood – 14 years
- Microwave oven – 9 years
- Dishwasher – 9 years
- Freezer – 11 years
If your kitchen appliance is nearing the end of its expected life span, it may be smarter to purchase a new appliance rather than attempting to repair it. Apart from the high likelihood of older appliances breaking down again in a few month’s time, these may require parts that are hard to replace or are no longer in production. Sourcing rare parts and finding new fixes can make repairs very costly and time-consuming.
Get a Price Estimate on the Repair
For appliances that are still within their useful lifetime, these may be worth considering for repairs. However, this is still dependent on the amount of repair that needs to be done. Take your appliance to an accredited repair centre to have it assessed and get an estimate of how much the repair will cost. If there has been extensive damage or a major part will need to be replaced, it may be more cost-efficient to simply buy a new appliance.
To help you determine whether to replace or repair, you can follow a simple equation. Consider the age of your appliance in comparison to its remaining life expectancy. If it is 50% through the expected lifespan and the cost of repairing it is more than 50% of the price of a new one, then it is more cost-efficient to replace your appliance.
If you have experience repairing electronics, you might be able to repair the appliance yourself. In most cases, however, it is best to have the appliance repaired by accredited professionals who have the expertise and tools to apply repairs.
Weigh the Benefits of Repair and Replacement
Apart from repair costs, you should also consider the pros and cons of repairing your old appliance. Knowing how it works and having it already integrated into your kitchen setup can make using your old appliances appealing. However, these appliances may no longer work as efficiently and may be costing you more in electricity bills. Newer appliances are usually designed for better energy efficiency, which can save you money in the long run.
Deciding on whether to repair your old appliance or replace it with a new one is dependent on a lot of factors. This guide can help you make an informed decision but ultimately, choose the option that supports your kitchen requirements while ensuring you can operate the appliance safely.