Weird noises. Strange sputters. Leaks. Wheezes. Hums. Squeaks. This is the soundtrack to home improvement, from the furnaces to the refrigerators. It’s the chorus with which our appliances lovingly serenade our homes. The worst part is, tickets to this musical are rarely free.
You need a way to keep your front row seat to the kitchen quintet from bankrupting your household. You know everything from the air conditioner to the oven are gonna have problems, that’s just their nature. The key is fixing those problems without setting your wallet on fire.
Doing so is easier said than done. You’d like to fix the problem yourself, and save some money, but how do you even know what the problem is? Or where to look? Maybe you should replace the appliance, but then you risk giving up on a machine that could still be pretty useful—if only you knew the right buttons to push.
Furthermore, what if you’re convinced repairs are in order? How do you proceed? How do you know when to call a professional? And how do you know that they know what they’re talking about? We’ve all been to the mechanic before and been worried if we’re getting a raw deal. The same worries apply here.
All these questions demand answers. But for most of us, there’s no ready-made blueprint for finding, diagnosing and fixing what ails our homes’ critical machines. Our washers’ hoses may be loose, our dryers’ belts may be broken, our dishwashers’ valves may be faulty. But how would we know? And how would we fix any of it?
In this infographic, we’ve given some handy tips to solve the many repair-or-replace dilemmas you’ll have over the course of your appliances’ lives. For example, if your appliance is still under warranty, you should go the repair route. But if it’s over 8 years old—or if the repairs are more than double the cost of a new one—then it’s time to replace.
YouTube is another valuable resource in solving these dilemmas. We’ve identified what to search for when you’re stumped, along with specific steps to take to verify whether those connections are shaky or that burner is busted. Check out the full infographic for the whole scoop.