Dealing with broken appliances is frustrating, to say the least. You have to decide what you will do with them, which starts with knowing what your options are with the thing. Who do you call to tell you what your options are? How do you know if it’s more cost-effective to fix it or replace it? If you buy new, how do you know what to buy and where to get the best deal? There are so many questions that you may have never needed to answer before.

This is one of the downfalls for homeowners because it is one of the many things you have to figure out yourself. One of the most common home repairs is broken appliances or systems, including the plumbing, electric, and HVAC system. While you may not think of the air conditioner or thermostat as appliances, they fit perfectly into the discussion. From a drain clog to a refrigerant leak, knowing what to do when your home isn’t running properly can be frustrating. Here are some options that homeowners have when their air conditioner or refrigerator has conked out.

Fixing Them


Your first option is to check if it is fixable. For example, when your air conditioner stops working, you can call ZONE Air & Heating Inc to come to look at it and let you know what’s wrong. These air conditioner technicians will let you know if it is fixable and what it will cost to repair the AC unit. They can then do the repairs for you. Depending on the problem, they can have the air conditioner up and running, and you cooled down, within hours. These technicians are licensed and have a reputation for great customer service. They can also come to the rescue if your furnace goes out since they cover all residential HVAC problems.

There are companies like ZONE Air & Heating Inc to help with other appliances and home repairs as well. Technicians can come to your home and diagnose the problem, so you can decide if you want to spend the money to fix it or invest in new appliances. Toilets, dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and freezers are all common items that will break down and need to be repaired because they are not designed to last forever. Often, the repair is something simple that won’t cost a lot and only takes a few minutes. For example, you may need a new air filter or circuit breaker. The ducts may need to be cleaned or a leak repaired. Calling in a professional will give you peace of mind knowing it was done right and the reliable advice you are getting.

Replacing Them


If you decide not to repair your broken appliances, you can replace them. There are large box stores that will deliver the new item right to your house, install it, and haul away your old one. You won’t need to do anything except let them in. Buying new appliances can be exciting, and it can save you money on your utility bills. As appliances age, they run less efficiently, so even when they are still working, they may start costing you more on energy usage.

Most new appliances have energy ratings to ensure they are highly efficient and will utilize as little energy as possible to run at an optimum level. Compared to a new refrigerator, the energy savings of a 20-year-old refrigerator are estimated at $75-$150 per year. The difference in kilowatt usage is staggering as innovations have made appliances far less energy-reliant. While refrigerators are large appliance examples, you can experience savings on everything from the washer and dryer to the microwave and toaster oven.

Be sure to shop around. September, October, and January are the best months to buy new because manufacturers present new models, but you can’t always plan around sales. Large box stores like Lowes often offer “scratch and dent” items that are reduced in price due to minor cosmetic damage but still work perfectly. Buying last year’s model of air conditioner or one with minor scratches can save you several hundred dollars. You can also look for rebates or credit cards that will give you cash back on the purchase.

Donating Them


Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Habitat for Humanity are all organizations that will take old appliances. Some locations have people on hand who donate their time to repairing old appliances to be provided to someone in need. Others will resell or scrap the old or unworking appliances through partnerships they have with other organizations. Donating your old appliance may not mean it goes to someone that needs it, but it may mean it provides money to a program that helps those in need. Always check first, but many organizations that accept old appliances will accept broken ones as well.

You can also write the value of the item off on your taxes as a charitable donation by choosing to donate. Depending on many other personal financial factors, donation write-offs may not make a significant difference, but every little bit helps. You’ll have the benefit of getting rid of something you don’t need, helping another person or organization, and getting a tax write-off. For the more good news, many of these organizations will pick the appliance up from your house, so you don’t have to do anything.

Scrapping Them


If you plan to just throw the broken appliances in the trash, you may as well scrap them to get a little money out of it. Scrap yards will take appliances that are not working and provide you with money based on the appliance’s weight and the scrap value. Most appliances have a small scrap value, but it’s something that you can put towards your new appliances, particularly if buying a new appliance wasn’t in the budget. Scrapping is also a form of recycling, so you can feel better about your decision, knowing it is better for the environment than just sending it to the trash dump. If you don’t want to haul it to the scrapyard, in most areas, you can put it outside with a “free” sign or post on a community social media page that it is there, and people that make a side income scrapping will come to take it from your yard.

Recreating Them


If you enjoy social media sites like Pinterest, you’ve probably seen a wide range of DIY art and home projects that involve an unworking appliance. There are so many new uses for old appliances, from lamps to fireplaces to fish tanks, you can find all sorts of DIY art projects involving the items you would otherwise throw away. If you have some in vintage styles or colors, they are even sought after for art projects, so you may be able to sell them to someone looking to do a DIY art project if you aren’t.

Creating a fun and interesting piece of furniture or art will provide your home with a conversation piece that you’ll be happy to talk about because you created it. The new item is a source of pride and entertainment. It’s also funky and one-of-a-kind. Creating it can be a fun activity for you and your partner to do together or something the whole family can participate in. If you aren’t interested in creating an art piece for your home, you can create it and sell it as these kinds of art pieces are very trending right now. The money you make from the sale can go towards the money you spent calling a professional and then buying new.