Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Appliance?

City of Houston, TexasHave you reached the cross road on whether to replace or repair an appliance? When your fridge at home has a warm temperature, or if your washing machine just stops spinning the question you ask yourself, is it worth spending time and money having the appliance service technician come over or is it more prudent to just buy a new one.

Calling out a repair technician service in Houston, TX to help you fix your broken residential appliance quickly will answer the question whether it’s better to replace or repair a particular machine. Depending on the age of your appliance, replacement could save you the big cost of repair. Often, the repair service technician will save you around 70 to 80 percent of the cost of buying new. There is a caveat to this: To make a comparison, you must know in advance what the new, replacement cost would be.

3 Things you should know about hiring an Appliance Repair Service Company

How can you find the best appliance repair professional in Harris County? When hiring a technician for Appliance Repair in Houston, you need to be more cautious. You need to ask yourselves these three questions:

1) How do you avoid paying too much?

When the repair job for your refrigerator at home is more than what you can do, hiring a refrigerator repairman is the best option. Knowing who to hire is always a dilemma. How do you avoid being “taken for a ride” by someone whom you are going to trust to give you a good, honest deal?

Finding an appliance technician should be like finding your new best friend!

  • Talk to friends and neighbors who have had an experience with the service
  • Check out feedback and reviews for recommended technicians on social media and online
  • Were people satisfied with the price they paid?
  • Were they happy with the skill of the service technician and the work was done?
  • Did they have to get the work re-done and if so how long after the initial repair?

When you have found a good prospect, call and make inquiries. Ask the right questions to get the right answers:

washing machine technician How much will a basic service call out cost? A point to note here is that most companies have a minimum charge for quotes and call outs, ranging from around $50 to $100. This means that you will pay just to have them look at your appliance, even if they have to come back later to fix it. When you are doing your math on the cost of repair or replace do not forget to include initial “look-see” charge!

2) What is it going to cost?

There is no legislated or standard charge for appliance repairs in the state. Some companies may even charge with what they can get away with basically! Independent contractors whom you find through advice from friends or job boards in your area, charge significantly less than a state registered company, and often these smaller outfits are not licensed and do not have the same safeguards of a bonded business.

Many contractors charge hourly rates, and some will even include the call out fee in their repair charge if the problem is one that they can fix.

You must always ask how the bill is calculated. It should be a combination of labor and parts, with the service fee included if possible. Hourly rates vary between $99 and $150 per half hour. If you have fallen over at this high cost, bear in mind that many of the little jobs take less than 30 minutes to complete. For example, refrigerator repair of the defrosting unit on a residential fridge often only involves replacing connectors, and will take less than 15 minutes.

Beware of the dodgy characters who offer cut rates: they have below par services, especially if they want cash payment. Companies in the state who accept credit cards are frequently honest and reliable: they acknowledge a level of liability; you do have the opportunity of getting money back from your credit card company if you believe the appliance service technician did not merit the amount you paid.

3) How to keep Appliance Repair Costs Low?

This is where you need to know the difference between what to repair and what to replace. The average lifespan for most large household appliances, from a reputable manufacturer, is between 8 and ten years. When a machine is older than this, the cost of repairing combined with the likelihood of repeated breakdowns often makes buying new the best option.

You can save yourself money by giving as much detail about the problem before the technician coming out. Symptoms of the breakdown, with the make, model, and a serial number of the appliance will give the appliance technician enough information on what necessary parts and tools to bring with him. Get a quote from more than one company and if the professional will not provide a quote over the phone, avoid them. Contact a company with a more responsive service.

Do your homework; investigate the reputation of several companies in the area close to you. Provide as much detail and information about your problem and avoid businesses that do not offer estimates over the phone or by email.

When to Repair and When to Replace

The cost of replacing and buying a new, large household appliance can be daunting and often comes “at the wrong time”. So we often ask the question: should we dive in and buy a new one, or can we get away with it a little longer by having the old one repaired?

The rule of thumb: If a repair will cost more than half the price of a new appliance and the unit is more than 6 or 7 years old, it is the right time to replace with new.

The American National Association of Home Builders provides the following longevity estimates for household appliances:

  • Dishwasher – 9 years
  • Refrigerator – 13 years
  • Freezer – 11 years
  • Range/oven – 9to15 years – gas lasts a bit longer than electric
  • Washing machine – 10 years
  • Tumble Dryer – 13years

Before you spend any money on a new home appliance, ask yourself these questions:

1) Is it broken – the problem might just be a short in the plug, a poor surge-protector outlet or that the circuit breaker has tripped out.

2) Read the troubleshooting or solutions section in the instruction booklet for the most common solutions to the problem you are experiencing.

3) Check to see if your appliance is still under warranty and what type of repairs and/replacement are covered.

4) Have you experienced this problem before and already had a repair carried out? Once again, if it is a minor fix or under warranty, you should not buy a new one, and it may be time to get the manufacturer to replace it for you.

5) If your machine has put in hard graft for many years and has lived up to its full life expectancy and the cost of repair will cost more than half of a new one, you have your answer right there – cut your losses and go shopping for a new model!

6) If your residential appliance has always worked well, it might be worth fixing, instead of replacing with something new and unproven.

What to look for when you are comparing buying with repairing?refrigerator repairman fixing a fridge

  • What would a similar home appliance cost? Go online to get the broadest pricing on new appliances. Include the hidden costs such as delivery, removal and disposal of your old unit, installation fees and taxes.
  • Can your budget withstand the cost of a new unit?
  • Would you be gaining with having additional features on a new unit that your old appliance does not provide?
  • Should you be considering energy savings in your selection of appliance for your house? This involves a little math calculation: will energy conservation be enough to offset the price of a new appliance against the cost of repair being more efficient budget? You must include any tax credits that you would receive for buying a more energy efficient appliance.
  • If you are still unsure, call a local expert in your residential A reputable repair company or appliance dealer in your city will give you the best advice.
  • Often a professional repairman can give you more options for fixing rather than buying a new model. If one of your reasons for slanting your decision to buy is because your fridge looks outdated or you have just remodeled your kitchen, a professional company can spruce it up with a modern paint finish and make it look as good as new, to fit in with the new design or color scheme. It costs a lot less than you think too!

Useful Tips to Remember

  • Protect yourself and your appliance. Never leave the appliance service technician to “get on with the job” – stay close by and if you are asked to leave, as “why.” Unless you are in real danger by remaining near- by, do not move away. This means that you know exactly what is going on, and there cannot be any underhandedness by the repair technician.
  • Ask for business licenses. Texas regulations for appliance companies may vary from place to place, so before you hire a repair service, check your state electrical regulations to see what license, if any, is required for appliance repair companies. A licensed company representative gives far more security to you than one who is not. If they tell you that they are licensed, and arrive without the document, do not let them in and do not pay them for their visit – unless they offer to go back and get proof. That is, of course, if they are required by state law to have a license in the first place.

What are warranties?

A warranty is like an insurance policy that lasts one to five years after you have bought an appliance for your house. This usually covers you against the cost of repairs and replacements. While the concept is good, the problem is they can cost as much as the product itself and account for a significant proportion of retailers’ profits and sales peoples’ commission.

Worse still, some warranties used to advertise rights that were already yours by law. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 now prohibits this.

What do they cover?

Warranties usually cover your residential appliance for mechanical or electrical failure, not accidental damage. With the warranty, it should cover repair costs, including parts and labor.

Warranty does not cover theft or water damage from floods or fire damage. You need insurance for that.

Before you sign up for a retailer’s warranty, check the fine print and see what the Manufacturer’s Warranty entails. They are generally for 1 to 5 years, depending on the type of appliance and will cover you if there is a fault, so you will not need the extra warranty from the retailer. Do not get taken in by the offer of free backup, etc. it never happens and when you call out the repairman, you will find that the retailer’s warranty will not cover repairs, visits or spare parts.

Houston, TX

Energy Savings Standards: 21st Century Manufacturing

Today the standard washer size is 3.5 cubic feet. In 1980, the standard washer measured 2.5 cubic feet. Although the appliances have increased in energy efficiency and reduced water usage, they have also become more convenient to use due to their larger capacity.

Home refrigerators have more efficient compressors and better insulation to reduce energy consumption. The Federal Standards has set the specifications to qualify for an Energy Star; a fridge must exceed the minimum federal standards for energy use by 20%.

There has been a nationwide Annual Reduction in electricity by over 7%, attributed to energy efficiency standards. The national annual reduction in electricity usage, based on current standards, projected at 14% for 2035.

With the introduction of Energy Star by the EPA back in 1992, a voluntary labeling program, designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products for your house, which include appliances, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, experts say manufacturers have rapacious desire to stay ahead of the curve to maintain consumer market share. This is good news for consumers: It drives costs lower and gives better, more efficient products.

Final Thoughts

Only you can decide whether it’s best to repair or replace an appliance in your house. Whichever choice will work for you is the BEST OPTION. Repair services in the cities of Texas are relatively cheaper compared to rates in other state but if replacing your machine with a new one can get you more savings in the long run, you can also go for it.

OnSite Appliance

3610 Willowbend Boulevard Suite #1030

Houston, TX 77054

832-263-6930