Updated Nov 29, 2022
The House Method team dove into homeowner spending habits for major appliances to see how these rates have evolved over the past few years. Unsurprisingly, the rates have increased, leaving many buyers in a gridlock when it comes to affording important home equipment. We found that repairs are often far more affordable than replacements, and a home warranty is an excellent tool for managing repair costs.
Key statistics to know:
Your home’s appliances assist with daily tasks like cooking, washing dishes, drying clothes, and preserving fresh food. These machines make life a whole lot easier – and you likely forget how convenient they are until something breaks.
Appliance repairs cost a pretty penny, and replacement fees are even steeper. Keep reading to learn about recent expenditure trends for home appliances and how you can combat skyrocketing price tags on the items you use most.
The supply chain crisis is disrupting more than just building material sales. Major appliances are also caught up in the storm, making it difficult for homeowners to get their hands on affordable items.
The demand for laundry room and kitchen appliances is high, while the supply of such items is incredibly low. Manufacturers must raise wholesale prices to keep up with the demand, which, in turn, drives up retail pricing.
Metin Ozkuzey, appliance expert and President of Designer Appliances, claims supply chain issues are only part of the equation.
“Following a brief slow-down in sales in March 2019, consumer demand skyrocketed,” Ozkuzey says. “The net effect is even more exorbitant if you couple the supply shortages with diminishing rebates and canceled seasonal promotions.”
Since 2019, appliance prices have continually crept upward. The GE French Door Refrigerator is up 20% in price – from around $1,950 in 2019 to a whopping $2,300 in 2022.
|Item||2020 Price||2021 Price||2022 Price|
|Bosch 500 Series Dishwasher||$844||$999||$1,049|
The COVID-19 pandemic has also created a new work-from-home situation for many homeowners, which means people are using their appliances more than ever. This wear and tear results in a more frequent need for repairs because the equipment is more likely to break. In fact, the average household spending on home furnishings and equipment rose from 3.3% to 3.8% from 2019 to 20205.
Brand-new appliances are undoubtedly expensive. However, these prices often pale compared to the repair and replacement costs required over several years.
According to a 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the average household spends around $354 per year on major appliances3. This number compares to an average annual expenditure of $214 in 2013. If you have to replace just one machine in your home, your expenditure will be at the high end of the price range.
Your bill will be lower if you opt to repair a broken appliance instead of replacing it. According to the United States Public Interest Research Group, repairs greatly reduce annual household spending on new electronics and appliances. The study notes that the average family could save around $330 per year by repairing existing items. If 122 million national households followed this trend, the savings would reach $40 billion.
You’ll pay for several different items if you opt to repair instead of replace them. The bulk of your repair cost will come from service fees and part replacement costs. JB Appliance Solutions charges a $75 diagnostic fee and a $125 preventative maintenance fee in addition to the repair costs. Other companies charge up to $125 for service call fees alone.
The table below shows average repair and replacement costs for common home appliances:
The truth is – most homeowners will need at least one appliance repair every couple of years. Even if the problem is relatively minor – such as a dryer not heating or a dishwasher not draining – you still might fork out a couple of hundred dollars for service call fees and part replacements. If something goes wrong and an appliance is beyond repair, you’re likely looking at over $500 for a new machine.
Home warranties are service contracts homeowners can purchase for coverage on home systems and appliance repairs. You will pay a yearly or monthly premium for the plan and a service fee for each technician visit.
The primary benefit of a home warranty is that the coverage extends past the manufacturer’s warranty to cover normal wear and tear on the items you use every day. This coverage is especially valuable for appliances prone to breaking down over time from continuous use. Appliance expert Ozkuzey notes that home appliances typically last five to seven years, so you should expect a repair every two to three years.
If you buy a plan through a company like Choice Home Warranty, you may save a lot on annual appliance repairs and replacements. These plans typically cost around $50-$70 per month and $60-$95 for each service call.
You should select a contract that covers a combination of appliances and systems for the most comprehensive coverage. Appliance repairs can cost over a thousand dollars, and systems repairs often surpass $10,000. In these cases, a $600-$700 annual home warranty plan is well worth the cost.
The best way to save money and avoid costly repairs is to keep your items up-to-date on routine maintenance. Maintenance will likely lengthen the appliances’ lifespans and alert you of any potential problems lurking in the background. Schedule routine maintenance appointments with a local service provider, or practice preventive care yourself.
Tips for DIY appliance maintenance:
Other Home Warranty Resources