Is your refrigerator running? No, this isn’t a prank call from the 1990s. It turns out that a refrigerator that runs loudly is a sign it may need to be repaired or replaced.
Not every sign that your appliance is on its last legs will be quite as loud, though. It helps to know the trouble signs now, when everything seems to be OK, rather than trying to figure it out on the fly when your appliances start acting up.
In fact, appliances acting strangely is one of the best indicators that something is off. If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you know when something seems different. Take the kitchen. You doubtless spend plenty of time there making sure your meals taste great. If the stove isn’t as hot as usual, that could be a warning sign. Similarly, a fridge that is unusually sweaty, with lots of condensation, may also be struggling to keep up. If your freezer feels unusually frigid, that’s another possible issue. Listen to what your kitchen appliances are telling you. There’s a chance they’re saying, “Hey, I’ve done what I can. Now you should think about replacing me.”
In other parts of your house, some problems will also be more obvious than others. If your washing machine overflows, that definitely needs to be addressed. But if your dryer doesn’t seem to be getting hot, it may take you longer to notice.
Once you do notice, you obviously need to bring in a trusted repairman first. You want someone who will be honest with you and tell you if something can be repaired or not. If it can’t be fixed, it’s time to head to a local appliance shop. You can shop online first if you know you want a particular model, but it’s a good idea to look at what you’re buying before you plunk down your credit card or write a large check. What seems stylish online may seem over-the-top and garish in person.
If more than one appliance needs to be replaced, you may want to go ahead with a full renovation of a particular room. For instance, if you need both a new oven and a new fridge, maybe you should also install that track lighting that you’ve had your eye on for a while now. If you’re going to have to go to all the trouble of hauling in new appliances (or having someone deliver them), why not make the most of it? Depending on how much it costs, you may want to look into securing a home equity loan from a credit union you know and trust.
The older an appliance is, the more likely it is that you’ll need to replace it soon. Refrigerators have a typical life expectancy of about ten to twelve years, while you should be able to get nine or ten years out of your microwave. Gas ranges and stovetops last longer, usually about fifteen years. Those are rough averages, however. If you’ve already had to repair an appliance a few times, you may be wasting money, especially if it has already outlived its typical lifespan. Whenever you do replace something, be sure you select a quality product and try to upgrade to the most energy efficient option available. It will save you money in the long run, especially when it comes to replacing larger systems like energy efficient heating and air conditioning. It would really stink to have to repeat the whole song and dance in a couple of years because you bought a cheap imitation of a better appliance.