Should You Replace Your Broken Refrigerator?

Sure, refrigerators are designed to last for years, but that doesn't mean that you won't have problems with yours from time to time. Even well-maintained refrigerators are bound to have problems eventually, and when that time comes, you need to determine if you should have your refrigerator repaired or replaced. To make your decision easier, you need to consider these things.

Refrigerator's Age

On average, refrigerators have around a 13-year lifespan. Because of this, you should think about replacing your fridge if it needs to be repaired and is more than 10 years old. If it's been less than 10 years since you purchased your refrigerator new, you should take the cost of the needed repairs into consideration before deciding to replace the appliance completely. If the cost of the needed repairs is at least one half of the cost of a new fridge, consider replacing the fridge instead of repairing it.

Refrigerator Style

You might not think the style of refrigerator you have plays a huge role in how long it lasts, but unfortunately, not all refrigerators are considered equal. So, if you're having problems with a fridge that is less than 10 years old, you need to take the refrigerator style into consideration when you're trying to decide whether or not to replace it. Take these general guidelines into consideration when making your decision:

  • A side-by-side refrigerator might actually be a good candidate for replacement if it's over five years old.
  • Bottom-freezer refrigerators shouldn't be considered for replacement until they are at least seven years old.
  • Refrigerators with a top freezer should be repaired if they are less than three years old but replaced if they're more than seven years old.

Energy Efficiency

Older refrigerators use more energy than newer models, so if you have an older model, your utility bill might be a bit high. If you replace your old refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient fridge, this could save you between $35 and $300 in energy costs over the refrigerator's lifespan.

The fact is, the older your fridge is, the more it's impacting your utility bill. If you have a refrigerator that was built before 1993, operating it could be costing you more than $65 per year more than it would cost to run a new, energy-efficient model. If your fridge was made before 1980, you could save more than $200 per year by purchasing an energy-efficient fridge.

Of course, whether or not you repair or replace your broken refrigerator is completely up to you. However, if your refrigerator isn't a fairly new model, it might benefit you in the long run to replace the appliance completely.


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