Repair or Buy New: Keep Your Home Running Within Your Budget
You are surrounded in your home by electrical and mechanical things that can break. Throwing them away and buying new is not always the best answer. In fact, the EPA says we already create waste at the rate of 4.4 pounds per day per person in the U.S. Sometimes a new purchase does make absolute sense. Browse through these examples to make your choice easier the next time something breaks in your home.
Major Home Appliances
Refrigerators, stoves, washing machines and dryers all have a life span. Daily Finance says you should expect 15 to 20 years from these major appliances. The choice of repairing these items when they break becomes easier the older they are. Repairing a 20 year old refrigerator may make it work, but only until the next thing breaks on it. At that age, putting that money into a new unit is a better investment.
The parts and labor may make buying new a better choice, too. Lowe’s suggests getting a repair estimate, and if it’s 50 percent of the purchase price, replace it with a new unit. Another consideration is that newer models will be more energy efficient and save you money over the life of the new appliance.
If the appliance has a good track record and the repair is minor, repairing may be the best path. An oven that worked perfectly until the broiler shorted out may be worth repairing. If the repair is not expensive, and a newer model oven gains you nothing new, then save your money and do the repair.
Small Home Appliances
You may have seen so many advertisements about high-tech vacuum cleaners that when yours stops working, you immediately think “Now I can get that Super Deluxe Vac 3000!” But small appliances can be repaired, often by you. Your vacuum is a good example of this, says the Huffington Post.
If it’s running but not picking anything up, then it’s a belt or hose problem. Many vacuums can be disassembled with household tools and replacement parts can be found at home improvement stores. For a small amount of time and money, you can be cleaning up again, even better than before.
Small Home Electronics
Radios, stereos, TVs and game systems can all fail, sometimes right after the warranty expires. These items have integrated parts, which means a repair will require swapping out an entire circuit board. This is expensive and be more than half the price of a replacement. Newer TV screen technologies are very expensive to fix and few service centers will actually attempt a repair. Replacement may be your best solution for your small electronics.
Desktops, Laptops and Tablets
Consumer Reports notes that 30 percent of these devices tend to break by the fourth year. Warranties are covering less, making replacement tempting. It can be a hard choice to repair your broken tablet or purchase a new Lenovo unit. With computer equipment, your decision depends on what you end up with as a result of your choice.
For example, you knock your tablet on to the floor and the screen cracks. One estimate by an online repair runs $150 to $200. You get your tablet screen repaired, it works for 30 days, and then stops working because the motherboard also cracked and just started showing symptoms.
Replacing a broken device with a new one means a chance to upgrade to the latest technology. When your tablet or laptop breaks, check out your options with manufacturers to see what the latest offerings will give you. Each generation of computer technology includes advances in the hardware and software. Instead of spending money fixing your old technology, it may make sense to invest it in the latest technology.