When an appliance goes haywire, it can seem simpler to just get rid of it than to fix it. Having it repaired by a technician is expensive or doing the repairs ourselves may seem daunting, and so, each year, literal tons of otherwise usable items end up in landfills, but it doesn’t have to be this way. We want to give you a better understanding of when to repair, replace, and recycle.
When to repair. If properly maintained and repaired, many home appliances can last much longer than you might expect. Washing machines and dryers can last over a decade with refrigerators and ranges functioning even longer. The rule of thumb is that if you can repair a machine for 50% or less of the cost of the replacement, you should do so.
If a new washing machine will cost $800 but yours can be fixed for 400 or less, why not save the money? If you can do the repair yourself with the parts you purchased online, the savings will be even more than if you had hired a technician. Doing repairs yourself doesn’t have to be intimidating.
In the end, fixing your home appliances and electronics can save you money over time.
It will save functional items from going to waste in the landfill. When to replace and throw your items in the trash. Nothing lasts forever. Even the hardiest and most faithful appliances will end up in the landfill sometime, but how do we know when that time has come? If you’re frequently repairing your appliance, the time and cost to do so will begin to rival the replacement cost.
If it’s really old, your appliance is probably less energy efficient than much newer models, so any savings you make from repairing it are likely being eaten up by your energy bill. Keeping it around doesn’t make much sense anymore. The good news is that some local gas and electric companies offer free pickup for older appliances and may even include a rebate check to encourage people to upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances. If any of your appliances or electrical items emit smoke when operating, it’s time to toss to them too. Trying to fix them is a bad idea.
Unfortunately, recycling items that are really old is tough. No one wants a 15-year-old washing machine that fills the house with smoke every time it turns on. In these cases, you should consider sending your item off to its destiny at the dump. When to recycle. If your appliance or electronics item isn’t an ancient relic and it’s not emitting smoke every time you’ve turned it on, it could still be useful for someone else.
Instead of throwing it away, try and keep it out of the landfill before it’s time. Recycle it. Consider listing appliances on local free exchange websites. You’ll likely find someone willing to pick it up if they can get it for free. For smaller appliances and electronics, consider donating them to local charities and thrift shops.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure after all. Just because you don’t need an item or it doesn’t work to your standards, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t find a good use for it. Knowing when to repair, replace, discard or recycle your unwanted or broken appliances will ultimately help you save money while keeping usable items out of landfills.