Here’s When Your Appliances Are Most Likely to Break Down
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
No, the answer isn't when you can least afford it. Knowing when appliances are more likely to undergo stress can help save you from a home emergency.
Work becomes extra hard for people when it’s too hot outside, and it’s the same for how your appliances perform in the summer temperatures. According to the first U.S. Appliance Repair Affordability, Reliability and Seasonality Report released by Puls, appliance repairs tend to be on the rise during the summer across a variety of categories. That’s one reason you should avoid overusing heat-generating appliances during the summer, advises energy analyst Matthias Alleckna. “Whether the dishwasher, washing machine, or the fridge, these machines can generate more heat inside your home in summer, so it’s better not to make them work too hard on hot days.” And whichever appliance you’re using, avoid overloading them, he shares. “The more volume and weight inside these appliances, the harder they will have to work,” he explains.
In the case of refrigerators, repair requests tend to spike in July, with an average repair cost of $242, though the report cautions that bills can skyrocket to up to twice as much.
At an average cost of $348, freezers cost more to repair on average than any other appliance surveyed in the Puls report. Like their cousin, the refrigerator, you may notice them huffing and puffing just a little bit more in the summer than in colder months, so it’s a time to be extra gentle with the cold beast. Extend the life of your freezer by cleaning it this often.
Dishwashers also work harder in the summertime and a common symptom that a breakdown is imminent is when one stops draining after a wash cycle. The average cost to repair a dishwasher is $204, which might actually be a pretty fair price considering how many uses beyond cleaning dishes and utensils are hidden inside this appliance, like these 15 things you never knew your dishwasher could do.
Ovens tend to overheat in the summer, but they also can be stressed out in the wintertime, especially if you find yourself tempted to use it as an additional heat source when it’s frigid outside. (Note: This is hazardous and potentially deadly if you have a gas oven. Don’t do it.) Oven repairs cost $226 on average.
The average microwave repair bill is $195, so it’s a good idea to know what’s safe to microwave to keep it in tip-top shape since that cost is higher than the retail price of many brand-new microwaves.
Washing machines can be vulnerable to cold or hot temperatures in an uninsulated garage or basement, so keep a close eye on them in the summer and in the winter as extreme temperatures have the potential to wreak havoc. The average repair bill for a washing machine runs $221.
It’s worth considering the idea to cut back on drying certain items of clothing to relieve stress on a dryer in the winter when it might not get hot enough, or the summer, when it can overheat. (You can line dry or invest in a drying rack.) The average cost to repair a dryer is $209. You’ll also want to avoid these other ways you’re shortening the lifespan of your washer/dryer.