Whether you’re contemplating replacing kitchen appliances like your fridge, oven, and dishwasher or you think it may be time to update your washer and dryer, your water heater, or your HVAC equipment, you’re probably well aware of the fact that new and improved versions of your household appliances are going to cost you a pretty penny. So not only do you want to avoid replacing multiple appliances at the same time, but you also want to make sure that they really need to be tossed in favor of new options in the first place. Despite the fact that many modern appliances are bound to pay for themselves over time in energy savings, it can still be hard to justify the up-front expense when you’re working with a tight budget. However, you could end up spending even more if you don’t replace your appliances in a timely manner. Here are just a few signs that the time may be drawing nigh.
- They’re not Energy-Star. If you’re not sure if you have Energy-Star appliances in your home, all you have to do is look for the label. If your appliances are outdated and your electric bills are high, chances are you won’t find it on your current products. This could be a problem. For one thing, outdated appliances may not even meet federal standards for energy-efficiency anymore, and they almost certainly don’t exceed them by a minimum of 20% (the Energy-Star standard). Further, your household appliances will become less efficient over time. So if you don’t see the label and you can’t actually recall when you bought your appliances (was it more than ten years ago?) it’s a good sign that it’s time to start thinking about replacement.
- Your energy bill is high for your area. Your kitchen appliances account for an estimated 40% of energy usage in your home, if that tells you anything about the amount of electricity required to run your household appliances. As a result, your utility bill could be sky high if you’re still relying on outdated and inefficient products. If you think your bill is high, simply call your power provider and ask about averages for your area. They should be able to tell you if your home exceeds the average usage so you can decide if it’s worth considering replacement.
- Repairs are piling up. You can reasonably expect that parts will need repair or replacement within about 5-10 years of purchasing appliances, based on regular wear and tear alone. But if you’ve started to notice that several of your appliances need repairs and ongoing maintenance that seem excessive, it’s a good sign that replacement is imminent. Considering how much you might be spending on warranty extensions or outright repair costs, you could end up throwing away a lot of money on a product that only stands to continue failing.
- Functionality has declined. Over time, all of your appliances will suffer a loss of function until they simply stop working altogether. In the meantime your spending will increase as you attempt to maintain functionality despite mounting equipment failure. This can entail major expense and make for an ongoing hassle. At this point you should consider replacement.
- Doors don’t seal properly. Your HVAC service provider will let you know when replacing filters and repairing ductwork is necessary thanks to annual inspections, but you might not have that assistance when it comes to your household appliances. However, you can tell when doors are closing properly thanks to cold air leaking out of the fridge, hot air leaking out of the oven, or water leaking out of your dishwasher. If ever there was a sign that your appliances are on their last legs, doors that don’t seal properly are like flashing neon.