Consumers have every right to be concerned about the cost and value of their household appliances, new and old. With purchase prices and service fees going up, a device’s life expectancy and required maintenance is something to consider before buying. Start with verifiable, objective consumer reports, or look for subjective customer comments and satisfaction surveys – the more authenticated the data available, the more reliable the information will be. Be mindful of energy efficiencies as well, and sources for replacement items such as filters, panels, and key moving parts. Before paying extra for an extended service plan, check the retailer’s purchase protection policies and the manufacturer’s warranty.

Even if you’re not buying now, you can help your current appliances last longer. Keep them clean inside and out, follow maintenance guidelines, and consult troubleshooting tips. Also watch for cracked seals that may cause leaks, forcing motors to work harder. When it’s time for repair, check your manual for service directions. If you didn’t register your purchase, search the model number online, or check with your retailer. Save any receipts to verify warranties. At some point, you’ll need to know whether it’s worth repairing an old appliance. That’s when an authorized service provider can help you decide.