Kitchen appliances are one of the largest purchases we make in our lifetime. However, we rely on these appliances to make our everyday life better and easier, we only make these purchases a handful of times as they are expensive. The question is how to choose the right kitchen appliances that fit your needs and styles?
There are a few factors to consider when purchasing kitchen appliances – from evaluating what’s important to you and your lifestyle to researching potential maintenance or replacement costs. By carefully weighing all the facts and specifications of the appliances you’re considering (rather than just looking at the brand), you’ll be able to get the best bang for your buck.
The first question you should be asking yourself is which are the most important kitchen appliances for you? What does your lifestyle require? If you’re looking to save money by making large batches of freezer meals, splurging on a larger pull-out freezer appliance might be worth it and save you money in the long run. If you feel that stove heating your food is a fine option, you may be able to go without that fancy new microwave. The decisions you make regarding your lifestyle should dictate your appliance purchases, not the other way around.
You should also consider whether certain appliance features are important to you. For example, if you live your life in an environmentally friendly manner, you may find that a “green” or energy-efficient set of appliances is worth any extra cost in the upfront sticker price. However, the money you might save on your energy bill may be worth it. Finally, you should consider how much you want to pay long-term in maintenance costs or when you may potentially need to replace your less-expensive appliances when they break down.
What kind of maintenance cost exists?
The average cost of appliance maintenance is $170 or between $106-$236. Several factors play into this wide range of expenses. For example, appliances that are fueled by gas rather than electric tend to be more expensive to repair. Some maintenance costs could come from a broken ice machine in your fridge or freezer, a broken stovetop burner, a stuck oven door, or a blown fuse. Some of these repairs are small, some of them are much larger (or are a sign of a larger problem). When your appliances start aging and reach their 5-8-year birthday, you may want to consider replacing them altogether if the maintenance costs become too much or too frequent.
How often should appliances be replaced?
Replacing appliances is a painful concept. After all, you spent a significant amount of money on them, and as they age it’s likely you’re not interested in doling out that large sum of cash again. However, sometimes replacing your kitchen appliances can be more fiscally responsible than performing more and more frequent maintenance on an aging refrigerator or oven.
The general rule of thumb is to stick with repairs if an appliance, such as a refrigerator, stovetop oven, or freezer, is under 5 years old. After an appliance surpasses the 5-year mark, it might be in your best interest to replace the appliance completely. Weigh the pros and cons, as well as the cost of maintenance. What is your specific appliance model’s common repairs? What is the average lifespan for your brand of appliances? Research these factors, then decide if spending the money on a new appliance would be worth it, and ultimately cheaper, with time.
How else can you save on kitchen appliances?
Yes, kitchen appliances are expensive and important. There is a lot of anxiety experienced around whether a large, expensive appliance will need unexpected repairs or a full replacement. These costs are often not in our budget, and the struggle to come up with an extra several hundred or several thousand dollars to ensure we have a cooling system to keep our food from spoiling is incredibly stressful. However, there is a way to protect yourself against the high costs of repairing or replacing necessary kitchen appliances: a home warranty.
Home warranties come in all shapes and sizes, and you can create one that is tailored to solely cover the appliances in your home. However, if you’re feeling especially risk-averse, you can upgrade to a premium policy that covers appliances and systems (think: your heating or cooling system).
These policies don’t generally cost that much month-to-month, usually averaging between $20-$50/month for full coverage. Then, when a repair or replacement is necessary, you’re only on the hook for a small (usually $75 on average) service fee. If you have properly maintained your kitchen appliances and are worried that they’re aging, or if they’re brand-new and you’re looking to save money and extend their lifespan, a home warranty is a good option for you.