It can be challenging to determine whether your appliance requires a simple repair or needs replacing. If you are struggling with this problem, Ontario Green Savings outlines four signs that can help you decide that replacing your appliances is the better – or in some cases necessary – option:
1. Your appliances have reached (or surpassed) their expected end-of-life date
According to research by Consumer Reports, the average lifespan for appliances is 10 years. If your appliances have given you a decade – or ideally even more than a decade – of loyal service, then it is both smart and safe to begin a search for their replacements.
“Even the most well-maintained appliances typically will not last for more than 10 years,” commented a spokesperson from Ontario Green Savings, a leading Smart Home Rental Program provider that serves thousands of customers across Canada in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec. “And considering that most homeowners typically don’t do much – or in some cases any – maintenance on their appliances, getting a decade of relatively trouble-free usage is a bonus. Many homeowners only get six or seven years of usage, before their appliance needs replacing.
2. You are paying a small fortune in repairs
In the financial investment field, there is a phenomenon known as the “sunk cost fallacy.” This state-of-mind convinces people to keep throwing money at a bad investment. In some cases, this can lead to massive losses and even bankruptcies. The good news is that homeowners who keep paying for one appliance repair after another are not at risk of going bankrupt. But the bad news is that the costs can quickly add up. For example, according to MoneySense.ca major refrigerator repairs can cost up to $1,000 – which is more than the price tag of some new, smaller, and lower-end (but still decent) top-freezer refrigerators.
According to the professionals at Ontario Green Savings “There comes a time when it no longer makes financial sense to continue repairing an appliance, and the best move is to replace it. Understandably, this is a tough pill to swallow for some homeowners whose faulty appliance is only a few years old. But unfortunately, as long as it is no longer under warranty, then whether an appliance is four years old or nine years old is beside the point. Financially speaking, the wisest thing they can do is replace instead of repair”.
3. Your utility bills are higher than they should be
Sometimes, appliances – and especially HVAC systems – may not be faulty or pose a safety hazard, but they are extremely inefficient when it comes to energy usage. Upgrading to energy efficient appliances can result in significant savings. For example, according to EnergyStar.gov, replacing an old HVAC unit with one that has earned the Energy Star label could save homeowners up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs – and at the same time, reduce their environmental footprint.
In addition to saving hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on utility bills, an Energy Star HVAC system that is properly installed and maintained will noticeably improve overall home comfort. An energy efficient HVAC system also boosts a home’s resale value. Some buyers will not even look at a home that does not have an energy efficient HVAC system, because they do not want to be saddled with high utility costs.
4. Your appliances have become a safety hazard
Last but certainly not least, you may talk yourself into tolerating your appliance for a while longer. However, if your appliances have become a safety hazard and making repairs is unjustifiably costly, then it is best to replace your dangerous appliances right away.
“It is never a smart move to keep appliances that have become a safety hazard,” commented a spokesperson from Ontario Green Savings. “And it’s not just fire or flooding hazards that homeowners must be vigilant about avoiding. Old HVAC systems can be, and usually are, breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, fungi and pollen that can get lodged in the duct and airflow system, and cause respiratory illnesses such as Legionnaires’ disease. Once this happens, then in many cases no amount of duct cleaning or using the most expensive air filters will solve the problem. The only sustainable and safe solution is to replace the system, and then keep it properly and professionally maintained”.
The Bottom Line
If your appliances show one, some, or possibly all of the signs above, then your choice is clear: it is time to replace your old appliances with new, eco-friendly appliances that are good for your budget, good for the environment, and good for your family’s health and safety.