People rely on refrigerators to keep their food fresh, so little else is as stressful as a refrigerator that stops working. Broken refrigerators cost time, money, and wasted food. Worse, spoiled food can cause serious illnesses. When a refrigerator breaks down, it can affect every aspect of your daily life. However, it is not always readily apparent whether a unit is beyond hope or just needs minor refrigerator repair parts. Here are some things to look out for when your refrigerator stops functioning.
The Costs of Repairs
Certain refrigerators are far more costly to repair than others. This can depend on whether the unit is built-in, side-by-side, or has bottom and top freezers. It can also depend on any wear and tear on the appliance. You also should consider what brand it is and how expensive refrigerator repair parts are. If the cost of repair in time or money is a significant portion of the cost of buying a new unit, a repair might not be worthwhile.
The Age of the Appliance
If the refrigerator is less than a decade old, you should probably try to repair it first before looking at new appliances. This also means refrigerator repair parts are likely easier to find. Refrigerators are designed to last between 10 and 20 years, meaning they generally have a long lifespan. If your refrigerator is more than 15 years old, replacing it is probably a safer bet. While properly maintained refrigerators can last longer than 15 years, they will likely require more repairs as they continue to age.
The Nature of the Problem
You should consider what the refrigerator needs to work again, the availability of necessary refrigerator repair parts, and how much time the repairs will take. You will also need to think about whether this is a one-time problem or a repeated part failure.
Finally, ensure that the diagnosed problem is really the only issue. Sometimes, older appliances begin to experience deterioration in more than one part. Fixing one broken part only to have another stop functioning can be incredibly frustrating. To prevent this, make a list of other problems the appliance might be having. Other malfunctions are a serious consideration when deciding between repair and replacement.
When your refrigerator malfunctions, it is a perfect time to check that your unit is energy-efficient. Older, less-efficient units can contribute to higher electrical costs. Units that were manufactured before Energy-Star standards can use up to double the energy of those built afterward. Not only is an energy-efficient appliance easier on your wallet, but it also has important environmental benefits.
Consider All Aspects
Usually, no single factor goes into deciding whether to repair or replace an appliance. Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of repairs before rushing to replace an appliance. Often, people assume a problem is more difficult or expensive to solve than it is. If you are unsure what refrigerator repair parts are needed or whether a repair is cost-effective, ask a qualified professional for their input.