Buying Q&A: Repair or Buy New Appliance?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

If an appliance is five years old and breaks down, should you have it repaired or just buy a new one?

A.

While the age of an appliance can play a part in deciding whether to replace it or not, don’t let that be the sole criteria. More important are the appliance’s general condition and previous service history (are there broken or missing parts, is it rusting? has it gone on the fritz before?). If you have a unit that’s rarely broken down in the past, then it might be worthwhile to do small repairs and keep it a few more years.

Only in the case of refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners does an appliance’s age become a larger factor. For example, a 10-year-old model might consume two times more energy than a new refrigerator! But for a fridge made only five years ago, the energy savings alone would probably not be great enough to sway the decision between repair and replacement.

-- Mararget Winslow

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