You may be surprised when you go to an appliance store to replace one that is no longer working right. The price you pay for a new one is going to be considerably higher than what you paid for the one you have currently. If the one you have came with the house when you bought it, you are really going to be in for sticker shock. Luckily, just because the appliance isn't working right does not necessarily mean it needs to be replaced. Here are a few tips to help you decide whether to call a technician or go shopping.
While it is possible for an appliance to completely break down and need to be replaced before it reaches its life expectancy, it isn't common. In fact, if it does, you may be able to get it replaced for free if you bought the extended warranty. If you are not sure of how old it is or how long it should last, contact the manufacturer or go to their website and look up the make, model, and serial number. If it isn't too old yet, contact an appliance repair technician to come and look it over.
All appliances need regular maintenance. You can find a list of what needs to be done in the owner's manual. If you do not have the manual, find one online or contact the manufacturer and ask to have one sent to you. Most of the maintenance is simple things you can do yourself. Larger appliances like an HVAC system may need to have a professional come out yearly. If you have done all the maintenance as required, a technician may be able to come and do a deeper cleaning or replace a small part and get it working correctly again.
An appliance repair technician will come to your house and give you an estimate on how much the repair will cost. While waiting for the technician, get online and look up the cost of a new unit. You don't need to go for one with all the bells and whistles, just look at those that do the same thing yours does. If the estimate is more than half the cost of a new unit, seriously consider buying the new one. Even if it only does the same things the old unit does, it is going to be more energy efficient, so it will save you some money on your electric bills. However, if you can get it fixed for a decent price, go for it.
For more information, contact a local appliance repair company like J & M Appliance.