Next to gas ranges and refrigerators, the dryer is among the hardiest home appliances. With an average lifespan of about 13 years, these workhorses are designed to handle loads of wet clothes.
Considering the importance of clothes dryers in our day-to-day life, it is every homeowner’s wish to see their appliance fully serve its estimated longevity. But like every other home appliance, the dryer can eventually show signs of wear and tear. It might take longer to dry clothes or make funny sounds. Worst, it can suddenly stop spinning.
When this happens, it can be very tempting to just head to the store and buy a new clothes dryer. After all, dealing with appliance repairs can be stressful. But when you think of the cost of purchasing and installing a new dryer, you’d have a second thought. Repairing the unit can extend the lifespan of the dryer. It also proves eco-friendly.
Indeed, deciding whether to fix the unit or to toss it and buy can be confusing. However, making the right decision can save you from unnecessary costs and hassle.
So, when is repairing the dryer worth the hassle? And when is replacement the best option?
Here are some things to consider before replacing or repairing your dryer.
When deciding whether to repair or replace an appliance, the cost is among the first concerns. The cost of a new dryer varies depending on the type, size, model, and brand. The basic clothes dryer can cost anywhere between $200 and $400, while the most expensive compact and gas dryers can cost as much as $1,750. On the other hand, the cost to repair a clothes dryer ranges between $100 and $430.
As a cost-conscious consumer, you want to get the most from your money. As a general rule, if appliance repair costs more than half of a new one, the repair is NOT worthwhile. With plenty of options available nowadays, you can certainly find a cheaper alternative. Better yet, newer models are equipped with energy-saving features and other functionalities. Consult with several appliance repair technicians to get an idea about the reasonable repair cost.
Federal and state laws mandate warranties for all home appliances. If your dryer starts to make sound or performs poorly, check if it is still covered by warranty. Generic appliance warranty covers the unit for a limited period, usually one year.
If the unit is still covered by warranty, then repairing it is worthwhile. The manufacturer or dealer might cover either the parts or the labor cost (or even both). Repair costs are very minimal if the unit is still under warranty.
According to an expert technician at Hartman’s Appliance Repair, Jacksonville, home appliances are rapidly improving in terms of efficiency and functionality — thanks to advances in technology. Dryers that are five years older are considerably less efficient than newer models. For example, a 2003 dryer model is less efficient than a 2014 model.
Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency has only started certifying dryers as Energy Star worthy only in 2015. This means newer models could save you in power bills in the long term.
If your clothes dryer is just three years old, and repair costs are minimal, then having it fixed is probably the best decision. The unit still has many years to serve and it’s also generally efficient. On the other hand, if you bought your dryer 10 years ago, then consider replacing it.
Another crucial factor when deciding whether to replace or repair the dryer is the exact problem of the unit. Even if you’re not a service technician, you can attempt to diagnose the problem on your own. Check the user’s manual to find out the problem.
Some of the most common issues with clothes dryers include a busted thermal fuse, clogged vents, faulty thermostat, non-working start or temperature switch, non-functional motor, and a broken belt. Some dryers may encounter electrical errors such as non-working outlets. Minor problems like uneven balance can be easily addressed. If you have basic skills in electronics repair, you can even attempt to DIY fix your dryer.
As mentioned above, a dryer can last for 8-14 years. If your dryer has spent more than half of its lifespan but the repair costs are minimal, then repairing it is a worthwhile expense. This can prolong the unit’s life for another year or two. This is the best time to start scouting and saving for a potential replacement.
To avoid sudden problems with your clothes dryer, regular maintenance by a reputable service technician is highly recommended. Preventive maintenance helps avoid the dryer from conking out at the most unholy hour. Likewise, this should extend the lifespan of your dryer, making the most out of your money. A quick browse on the Internet can give you a long list of local repair technicians.