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This issue's featured story:
Repair or replace that broken appliance?
The RepairGuru helps you decide.
Other items:
Summer's coming. Is your air conditioner ready?
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In addition to free Air Conditioner repair help, we stock Air Conditioner parts for every major brand. Click your brand below, or visit the PartDetective for more options.
May is National Home Improvement Month
Kick it off by fixing up your appliances
  Repair or replace that broken appliance?
The RepairGuru helps you decide.

Consider the following questions when deciding whether to replace or repair an appliance:

1. How old is the appliance?
Rule of thumb: If a repair will cost more than half the cost of a new appliance, and the unit is more than six or seven years old, you should consider replacing it altogether.

2. What would a similar appliance cost?
Some types of appliances have gone down in price over the past ten years. It's good to check on new prices before putting a lot of money into an old unit.

3. Are there hidden costs? Removal? Installation? Disposal? Tax?
These fees can quickly make a good deal much more expensive. If the appliance has Freon in it, the disposal of the Freon will be expensive. Be sure to check with your local waste disposal organization.

4. How difficult is it to replace the appliance? Is it
built in?

Even if it isn't built in, will you have to remove doors, railings, etc. in order to get the appliance out of the basement or other part of the house?

5. What energy savings will you get with the new appliance?
Some appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, front-load washers and dishwashers, can save a significant amount of energy. Others, such as stoves, ovens, dryers and ice makers, don't change much in energy usage over the years.

6. What additional features will you get with the new appliance?
Some features will give you greater flexibility and convenience and should be added to the value of a new appliance. However, don't give value to features you know you won't ever use. It might be nice that a washer has 20 water level settings, but few people ever use more than three.

Many people throw away appliances because they don't know a repairperson they trust. They also fear the repair cost will be so high they'll wish they had just replaced the appliance.

Because 75% of the cost of repairing an appliance is in the labor and related charges, and only 25% of the cost is in the parts, many people can repair appliances themselves and save a significant amount of time, money and hassle.

In general, appliances last between 12 and 14 years. However, many appliances last for more than 30 years. If your appliance has been troublesome, you might consider replacing it when it needs an expensive repair. However, if you've had 10 years of good service from an appliance, and it's in good condition, it may be well worth it to invest some time and money for a repair.
  Summer's coming. Is your air conditioner ready?
To get your air conditioner running smoothly, replace the unit's air filter and clean it once a month during use. Use our PartDetective to locate and order the filter you need.

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