When to Repair vs. Replace Your Appliances: The Ultimate Guide

Although we wish our common household appliances could last forever, unfortunately, this is just not the case. There comes a time when household appliances need to be replaced—but how do you know it’s the right time? 

Quality appliances are an investment in your home. Before you take the leap and decide to upgrade, learn whether it’s more cost-effective to repair vs. replace your appliances.

First Things First

Don’t panic if your appliances stop working all of a sudden! It may just be a simple fix. More often than not, the easiest solutions are the answer! 

  • Is the appliance plugged in correctly? 
  • Have you clicked the “reset” button on the outlet?
  • Did something or someone trip the circuit breaker?
  • Do you need to clean or replace a filter? 

If none of these tips do the trick, don’t hesitate to contact us for appliance repair services in the Cayman Islands. One of our experts can diagnose your broken appliance and help you decide whether to repair or replace it. Here are the three factors you need to consider when it’s time to replace your household appliances. 

Cost of Repairs

Follow the 50% rule when debating whether to repair vs. replace your appliance. This rule states that you should opt for a replacement if the cost of repairs exceeds 50% of the cost of a new major appliance. 

For example, say your current 10 year old refrigerator needs a new compressor. The cost of this repair might be around $1300 for parts and labor. The cost of a new refrigerator, on the other hand, might only be $2100. In this case, it would make sense financially to spring for a new refrigerator. Not only will it be more energy-efficient and last longer, but you’ll also be avoiding frequent repair bills in the future.

The exception to the rule is if your appliance is somewhat new and still under warranty. This means you’re most likely dealing with a defective product, which the manufacturer may either repair or replace for you. 

Cost (and Availability) of Replacement Parts

Sometimes, even a simple fix may be unusually expensive due to factors outside of your control. The COVID-19 pandemic is a great example, as it disrupted supply chains on a global scale—the resulting shortage caused replacement parts prices to skyrocket. 

If the parts for your broken appliance are unavailable and you can’t wait much longer for repairs, then a replacement might be your only option. 

Your Home Appliances’ Average Lifespans and Efficiency

In most cases, deciding when to replace your household appliances will boil down to their individual lifespans and efficiency. It doesn’t make sense to waste money on repairs for an appliance that is past its prime or doesn’t work as effectively as it once used to. 

Below, we break down when to repair vs. replace specific appliances based on their average lifespans and other important factors. 



The most reliable dishwashers make cooking fun and cleaning a breeze! If you’re the head of the kitchen in your household, it’s no wonder this is one appliance you don’t want to live without. 

Although modern dishwashers are made from sturdy and long-lasting materials, they have a lot of small internal components that can wear down over time or get damaged if not properly cared for. For example, the lock mechanism, detergent dispenser, float valve, spray arms, and many other parts are easy repairs for the Appliance Doctors. Of course, we recommend giving us a call to get a professional diagnosis to figure out exactly what’s wrong. 

If a major part, like the motor or circulation pump, is extremely damaged, you should weigh the cost of repairs vs. replacement for your appliance. Is a repair worth as much as half the cost of a new dishwasher? Most technicians will tell you no, especially if your appliance is near or has exceeded its life expectancy. If it’s still new and you have a warranty on it, then repairs are the way to go. 


Your oven is a necessary appliance for cooking, so dealing with unexpected damages can be quite frustrating. Whether your oven isn’t heating properly or turning on at all, most issues can be fixed quickly by a trained professional. Choosing when to replace this household appliance comes down to age. 

The older your appliance gets, the more wear and tear it will experience. There comes a point when a replacement just makes sense. If the insides are rusting, the glass door cracks, repairs become too frequent and expensive, or the oven simply doesn’t meet your needs anymore, it may finally be time for an upgrade. On average, ovens should be replaced every 15 years. 


Finding out that your washer and dryer are broken can put a permanent halt to laundry day, unless you don’t mind washing tons of clothes and linens by hand. So, how do you know when to replace this household appliance with a new set? 

Choose repairs when: your washer and dryer have a small problem and a long way to go before reaching the end of their lifespan. Almost all damage can be repaired, from a broken belt and faulty start switch to a malfunctioning temperature sensor and clogged vents. All you need is one of our Appliance Doctors who is experienced with the make and model of your washing machine and dryer. 

Choose replacement when: your washer and dryer are at the end of their life expectancy and require time-consuming, expensive repairs. It’s better to save your money and invest it toward a new washer/dryer combo (which you’ll need sooner or later anyway) rather than wasting it on frequent repairs. 

Air Conditioner

The Cayman Islands’ tropical climate demands that every home be equipped with a powerful air conditioner. Otherwise, the heat and humidity can be uncomfortable and downright dangerous! That’s why experiencing an AC breakdown can be quite alarming. Luckily, our AC experts are right at your fingertips! 

The Polar Bear Air Conditioning team, our sister company, has yet to meet any damaged air conditioner that its team can’t fix. Whether your AC unit is blowing out warm air, providing insufficient airflow, creating uneven room temperatures, cycling too frequently, causing high humidity levels, contaminating indoor air quality, or emitting bad odors and loud noises when in use, the Polar Bear comfort consultants can fix it all!

However, that doesn’t mean a replacement may never be in store. Eventually, even the best air conditioner will lose its energy efficiency, require too many expensive repairs, and increase your monthly energy bills because of its age. If you are experiencing any of these issues and your AC unit is six years or older, we encourage you to meet with one of our comfort specialists to see if a replacement to a higher energy-efficiency model is in the near future. 

Consider This

On a final note, we recommend setting up a maintenance schedule that you can regularly follow to stay up-to-date on all of your appliance tune-ups. If you prefer to DIY, make an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all your appliance maintenance and set up reminders for annual tune-ups. If you know you’ll forget to schedule services on your own, we have a maintenance program available! With our Discount Service Club, we do the work for you. You’ll never miss quarterly maintenance again, plus you get to enjoy a 10 percent discount on all repairs and accessories.

Do you have an appliance that’s on the fritz? Not sure whether to repair vs. replace your appliances? Waiting too long can cause a small problem to become a complete disaster, so call us today! Our team offers fast, affordable repairs for most major household appliances. If it’s time for an upgrade, we carry the latest models of ENERGY STAR® water heaters, ovens, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, washers/dryers, and refrigerators for installation