Are you trying to keep a major appliance alive in your home? Our five-year-old dishwasher is giving us a hard time. These days when I load it Kenny Rogers starts singing in my head. It is too young to be on its last legs but every time I press the start button it is a gamble. Fingers crossed it chooses to clean something. “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em”. Perhaps it is the economy, green consciousness, frugality, or poor manufacturing but a surprising number of my friends and family now have the appliance repair company’s phone number posted on the fridge. How do you know when to stop repairing and say goodbye?
According to Consumer Reports and Bill the repairperson, if an appliance is eight years old or more usually it is best to replace. Boy, eight years seems like a short lifespan doesn’t it? If you have a high end model that you love you might want to fix it but consider replacing a newer repair prone dud. Consumer Reports suggests it is best not to fix if repairs cost more than half the price of a new appliance. (not always possible though)
I found a neat website Consumer Reports Green Buying Guide to help chose reliable, energy efficient, eco-friendly appliances. There is a “get the most value” section, green living guides and other helpful tips to save you money and energy. It might help with decision-making.
If you are planning a big appliance purchase, you might want to consider…
- Many major retailers will remove the old appliance for recycling or repurposing so check before buying.
- If they are in good condition, think about donating to a non-profit organization.
- 1-800-RECYCLING.com is a comprehensive recycling location database with U.S. State by State guidelines.
- Most Canadian municipalities have appliance-recycling programs. The Natural Resources Canada website suggests contacting your local municipality or the yellow pages for collection information.
In the meantime, I continue to coddle our dishwasher…hoping we won’t have to fold ‘em for a long time.