By Christiane Cordero

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When an appliance breaks down over the holidays, a few indicators could help decide whether it’s worth repairing, or replacing.

Tony Boerner repairs and sells appliances through his Burnsville-based business, Tony’s Appliance. He said it by and large has to do with life expectancy.

“Life expectancy isn’t necessarily based on age,” Boerner said. “It’s based on physical condition.”

For minor fixes, he suggests seeing if other factors stand out. For an oven, for example, using an oven thermometer to gauge how it holds heat and whether the read is accurate to the display, could give users a better idea of how much longer it will last.

If everything’s working great, he suggests repairing the minor issue. If not, it might be worth replacing.

“And I kind of use halfway as something in good condition,” Boerner said. “If you’re getting in over half of the value in, it’s sometimes not worth it at that point.”

Since the value varies by appliance, he noted some typical expectations for major appliances.

Refrigerators, according to Consumer Reports, should last around 15 years. Same goes for ovens and ranges, while dishwashers tend to last less long, about 7 to 12 years.

Boerner also stressed the importance of maintenance and proper use, to avoid costly repairs.

“Dirty dishes are better than clean,” Boerner said. “If you’re washing them ahead of time, put in two cabinet doors instead because the soap today gets activated by temperature. So you need to use a high temperature wash, get the temperature up, and then that soap is going to eat something.”

He suggests running hot water briefly before starting the dishwasher for a cleaner rinse.

Christiane Cordero