The average refrigerator repair cost in the U.S. is between $200 and $400. But, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Refrigerators are made up of several parts, many of which are considered different repairs than a fridge itself. It probably doesn’t need to be stated that a well maintained refrigerator is not only about comfort but safety. Bad smells, leaks, food spoiling from too high temperatures, and much more are all possibilities that can come from not maintaining the integrity and function of your refrigerator.
- Refrigerator Service Cost Factors
- Repair or Replace Refrigerator?
- When to Replace Refrigerator
Refrigerator Service Cost Factors
Costs for repairs on a refrigerator aren’t a one-size-fits all situation. There’s several factors that come into play where refrigerator repair cost is concerned, both on your end and your service provider’s end. For starters, different parts of your refrigerator are going to require different repair methods, different timelines, or different tools.
Every refrigerator repair should start with a diagnosis visit from your appliance repair pro. Whether or not this diagnostic visit will cost you money is dependent on the service pro and whether or not you end up hiring them for a repair. Most fees for a visit are between $60-$100 and will likely be waived if you hire the tech for the repair as a result of the visit. But this is the first place you’ll find yourself spending money so factor it in regardless.
The brand of your refrigerator is going to be a factor here as well. Certain brands are going to be more expensive to repair or find replacement parts for. There’s also the nature of the problem to consider. There’s often simple problems with simple fixes such as clogged drain lines, bad thermostats, or dirty coils. These fixes should take no more than one visit from your tech and run you around $100 for the service. Some more complicated problems, such as a leak, may cost you more in time and money if you’ve let the water sit and damage the fridge. And certain portions of the fridge, such as the icemaker or compressor, could end up costing you far more.
There’s also the individual appliance repair pro’s price model to consider. Some repair pros work hourly, some charge per service, some may charge for replacement parts. And, depending on the business you go with, this could be on top of your initial diagnostic visit.
Repair or Replace Refrigerator?
One issue you may find yourself facing during this process is whether or not the cost of repairs justify themselves and whether or not starting fresh with a new refrigerator is the best way to go for your budget. How do you know when to repair or replace a refrigerator? This is all going to come down to cost as well (as well as whether or not your appliance repair pro thinks the repairs will hold in the long run, especially for an older refrigerator).
As general rule of thumb, if the repairs on your refrigerator are going to cost more than half of what a new fridge would cost you, spending a little extra money on that new fridge is the way to go. There’s also the specific issues themselves to look at. A problem with the compressor isn’t just costly (about $200 on average), it’s a time consuming repair and an important part of the overall appliance. If you find yourself with a large bill and/or a time consuming fix, it might be time to cash in for a new refrigerator rather than shell out the money to fix the broken one.
When To Replace a Refrigerator
Beyond the cost comparison, what are some other ways to know when it’s time to throw in the towel on a refrigerator? One of the first things to look at is the age of your refrigerator. Generally speaking, a refrigerator should last at least 10 years, up to 20 years. But if you’re starting to get to the tail end of this spectrum, it’s time to start looking for a new one. The brand matters as well, as different brands will have different recommended lifespans.
The age of your fridge doesn’t just affect its function as a fridge, but could end up costing you more if you don’t replace it thanks to faulty energy efficiency. If your fridge is older than 10 years old, it will be juzzling up energy with decade-old energy efficiency standards. Newer refrigerators have better energy efficiency that will save you money in utilities.
The style and type of refrigerator is also a factor. For example, side-by-side door refrigerators are better replaced than repaired if they’re older than five years. Built-in refrigerators tend to be could repair candidates thanks to relative cheapness–depending on the fix. If the issue is with a lower level freezer, they should be replaced after 10 years if an issue arises.
You refrigerator repair cost can be complicated. It doesn’t have to be. Sometimes fixes are simple between the issue an the nature of the refrigerator. But sometimes things are more nuanced and it may be more beneficial to you to replace a refrigerator rather than repair parts piece by piece. The energy efficiency of your refrigerator, as well as its ability to function as a safe appliance for your food and beverage are important factors to consider when going over your options. Starting with a diagnosis from a refrigerator repairman is a smart move, but arm yourself with a fair amount of knowledge going in so you know what move to make.
If you’re ready to get started on your diagnostic visit and hiring a repairman, head over to eLocal to take a look at our experienced appliance repair pros and find the perfect one for you.