Are Appliance Repairs Costly?
The good thing about owning a home is that you have a space that is all yours and you don’t have to share walls – or floors and ceilings – with complete strangers. The not so great thing is that, when things break, it’s your responsibility to fix or replace them.
While small appliances like toasters, blenders and microwaves last around 10 years and are very inexpensive to replace, larger appliances such as washers, dryers and refrigerators require regular service and maintenance to keep them running optimally for as long as possible.
Many people don’t give their appliances much thought until they suddenly start making weird noises or stop working altogether. And then they are often hit with a costly repair bill.
The nationwide average for appliance repair is $171, though the full cost range as reported by homeowners is between $100 and $350. That’s obviously quite a bit of difference, so what determines how much repairs to a major appliance will cost? There are a few different factors.
Is the Appliance Gas or Electric?
How much a repair will cost is often determined by what powers the unit. Generally speaking, gas water heaters, fireplaces and stoves are more expensive to fix than electric ones. This is due to the simple fact that repairing something that is powered by gas comes with more risk. A technician is up against potential carbon monoxide leaks and fire hazards. While electric appliances typically cost more to run, fixing them is usually simper, safer and, therefore, less expensive.
Is Your Appliance Accessible?
The harder the job, the more the repair will cost you. Something that makes the job tough is when the appliance, or its major components, are in a hard-to-reach spot. Also, if the wiring to your appliance isn’t straightforward, you may also wind up paying more.
How Difficult is it to Find Replacement Parts?
Do you have an antique gas-run refrigerator? Maybe your hot water heater is 30 years old. Finding parts for older or rare appliances can be difficult and this leads to higher prices. To save money, many technicians will use used appliance parts in these situations to help their customers. In most cases, used parts are just as good as new ones.
Now let’s look at some of the average repair costs for the most common appliances.
Refrigerator and Freezer
Of all the appliances that wreak havoc on your life when they break, the refrigerator/freezer comes second only to your HVAC system. Without question your refrigerator is the most essential kitchen appliance.
According to the national average, to fix a fridge/freezer combo, you’re looking at spending between two to three hours on labor costs plus whatever the cost for replacement parts. This will result in a bill between $200 and $400. Keep in mind, this figure does not include the cost to repair an ice maker. That alone can set you back $300.
So how do you know if you should spend this much on repairing your refrigerator? Some good rules of thumb are:
Age – If your refrigerator is less than 7 years old, it definitely makes sense to spend money to repair it. Between 7 years and 14 years, it’s a bit hit and miss. But if it’s over 14 years old, it most likely should be replaced.
Efficiency – If your refrigerator is currently running up your electric bill, now’s probably the time to bite the bullet and replace it with an energy star-rated unit.
You thought your days of going to a laundromat were finished back in college. But one day your beloved washing machine up and stops working on you. Depending on what needs to be fixed, the average cost of washing machine repairs nationwide is between $120 and $500.
The average cost to repair a dryer is between $100 and $400. Of course, you may have to pay a little extra if your dryer is a gas dryer. These units will cost about $50 to $150 more that electric models.
When your stove and oven went on the fritz, your kids cheered because that meant you’d be ordering pizza for dinner. But even pizza lovers can’t live on pizza forever. Stove repair costs average between $100 and $200, though again, you’ll pay a little bit higher if your stove runs on gas instead of electric.
Things to Keep in Mind with Appliance Repairs
If at all possible, try and group appliance repairs together. You’ll end up saving money on service fees. Also, it’s always better to find a local contractor who will charge less than a
technician who works through a larger nationwide repair chain.
While we have given you national averages here, you’ll want to ask your local technicians some questions before hiring to know exactly what your costs will be. Here are some questions to ask:
How are Their Fees Calculated?
Most appliance repair technicians charge by the hour. On top of this, there will most likely be a service fee for visiting your home. Ask how they calculate their fees and if their pricing includes:
- The service fee
- Other Questions to Ask
- After you understand their fees, ask:
- Do they accept credit cards?
- Will they share referrals from past customers?
- Do they pay for damages that may result from their work?
- Do they provide a written guarantee of their work and if so, how long of a timeframe does it cover?
If you are experiencing any trouble with your home’s appliances, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are happy to answer all of your questions on the phone and are able to come out to make repairs in a hurry.