1. Repair or replace: 3 important questions
  2. Replace or repair household appliances: Rule of thumb
  3. Repair or replace oven?
  4. Repair or replace freezers?
  5. Repair or replace dishwasher?
  6. Repair or replace refrigeration units?
  7. Repair or replace microwave and steamer?
  8. Repair or replace washing machine?
  9. Repair or replace a tumble dryer?
  10. Ecologically or economically meaningful?
  11. Replace household appliance: Pay attention to the label
  12. Repair or replace: Get a free offer

Household appliances usually break down at the silliest moment. For example, the washing machine the day before you leave for summer holidays, when you should be doing the laundry for the whole family. Or the dishwasher the night before a barbecue party with lots of guests. Household appliances last an average of 10 to 15 years according to the lifespan table:

  • Oven: expected life 15 years
  • Freezers: expected life 15 years
  • Dishwashers: expected life 10 years
  • Refrigerators: expected life 10 years
  • Microwave and steamer: expected life 10 years
  • Washing machine: expected life 15 years
  • Tumble dryers: expected life 15 years

If, for example, the oven breaks down after 8 years, the question is whether you should have it repaired or replace it. There is no generally valid answer to this question; it always depends on the individual case. Replacing is not the most sensible decision per se; sometimes a repair is more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Repair or replace: 3 important questions

Various factors play an important role in the decision "repair or replacement". Among other things, the age of the broken appliance, the comparison of the energy efficiency classes with a new appliance, the repair costs, the purchase price and the influence of the grey energy on the life cycle assessment. Before you decide, you should therefore answer these 3 questions:

  1. How old is the appliance?
  2. How much does the repair cost?
  3. How much does a new appliance cost?

Houzy Advice

Good to know

Grey energy is the energy consumed for the production, transport, storage, sale and disposal of a device. With an energy-efficient new appliance, this grey energy can be compensated in 4 to 10 years due to the lower consumption.

Repair or replace appliances: Oven
Whether the repair is worthwhile depends on the age of the appliance, the repair costs and the price of the new appliance.

Replace or repair household appliances: Rule of thumb

For each household appliance category, there is a limit to the repair costs, depending on the age of the appliance, below which a repair is worthwhile. The cost limit is defined as a percentage of the new price for a replacement appliance. The basis for the calculation is the average net prices of energy-efficient new appliances with an industry-standard discount of 30 percent on the list price. The figures and tables are taken from the brochure "Repairing or replacing defective electrical appliances?" by Energie Schweiz, which is well worth reading. The brochure is a good decision-making aid if you are unsure whether a repair is worthwhile or not.

Repair or replace oven?

Let's work it out with an oven as an example. Your 8-year-old oven breaks down. The manufacturer's customer service offers you a repair for 300 francs or a new oven for 1800 francs. Is the repair worth it? The oven is 8 years old, so the repair costs (see table) should not exceed 20 per cent of the new price. 20 per cent of 1800 francs is 360 francs, so the repair for 300 francs is worth it for you.

Age of the unit Repair costs in % of the new price Recommendation
3 to 4 years 60 % at most repair
5 to 7 years 40 % at most repair
8 to 10 years 20 % at most repair
from 10 years 5 % at most repair

repair kitchen appliance

Kitchen appliances repair

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Repair or replace freezers?

Age of the unit Repair costs in % of the new price Recommendation
3 to 4 years 40 % at most repair
5 to 7 years 25 % at most repair
8 to 10 years 10 % at most repair
from 10 years - replace

Houzy Hint

Tip

Replace 20-year-old freezers or energy-inefficient appliances now. Newer appliances of the (old) energy efficiency classes A++ and A+++ should be repaired by professionals.

Repair or replace dishwasher?

Age of the unit Repair costs in % of the new price Recommendation
3 to 4 years 40 % at most repair
5 to 7 years 20 % at most repair
8 to 10 years 5 % at most repair
from 10 years - replace

Houzy Hint

Tip

Dishwashers of the (old) energy efficiency classes A+, A++ and A+++ can be repaired. New appliances are only slightly more energy efficient, so it is usually not worth replacing them.

Repair or replace refrigeration units?

Age of the unit Repair costs in % of the new price Recommendation
3 to 4 years 35 % at most repair
5 to 7 years 20 % at most repair
8 to 10 years 5 % at most repair
from 10 years - replace

Houzy Hint

Tip

Replace 20-year-old refrigerators or energy-inefficient appliances now. Newer appliances of the (old) energy efficiency classes A++ and A+++ should be repaired by professionals.

 Repair or replace appliances: Refrigerator
If the refrigerator is more than 20 years old, you should replace it with a more energy-efficient appliance.

Repair or replace microwave and steamer?

Age of the unit Repair costs in % of the new price Recommendation
3 to 4 years 40 % at most repair
5 to 7 years 20 % at most repair
8 to 10 years 5 % at most repair
from 10 years - replace

Repair or replace washing machine?

Age of the unit Repair costs in % of the new price Recommendation
3 to 4 years 40 % at most repair
5 to 7 years 30 % at most repair
8 to 10 years 10 % at most repair
from 10 years - replace

Houzy Advice

Good to know

Manufacturing a washing machine has a heavy impact on the environment because of the electronics it contains. That is why broken washing machines should be repaired instead of replaced from an ecological point of view.

repair bathing appliance

Washing machine and tumble dryer repair

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Get offers for repair now

Repair or replace a tumble dryer?

Age of the unit Repair costs in % of the new price Recommendation
3 to 4 years 50 % at most repair
5 to 7 years 35 % at most repair
8 to 10 years 15 % at most repair
from 10 years 5 % at most repair

Houzy Hint

Tip

You should only replace a tumble dryer or tumble dryer prematurely if it is old and does not have a heat pump. Newer and more energy-efficient appliances should be repaired.

Repair or replace the appliance: Washing machine drum
You should repair an older washing machine instead of replacing it for ecological reasons.

Ecologically or economically meaningful?

As long as household appliances meet the current requirements for energy efficiency and economy, it may be worthwhile to repair them. Washing machines, for example, are an exception. Until a few years ago, they consumed a lot of electricity and water, but today they are much more energy-efficient and save resources. That's why it can be worthwhile to replace them after just 10 years. However, if you replace every appliance every time it breaks down, you are putting much more strain on the environment than if you have the household appliances repaired. In the meantime, many appliances are so energy-efficient that no major improvements can be expected. If you want to sustainably protect the climate and resources, it makes more sense to buy durable appliances and have them repaired instead of regularly replacing the oven or tumble dryer.

Replace household appliance: Pay attention to the label

If you have to replace an appliance despite everything, you should definitely pay attention to the energy label. Since 1 March 2021, the energy labels are clearer and the energy efficiency classes are subdivided more clearly. The previously highest class A will no longer be divided into subclasses, i.e. A+++, A++ and A+ will disappear. Now there are only the classes A (very efficient), B, C, D, E, F and G (wasteful). To determine the energy class of an appliance, the energy efficiency will be measured anew and evaluated more strictly. If a repair is no longer worthwhile, you should replace the old household appliance with a new appliance of energy efficiency class A or B. Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers have until 31 December 2021, or 31 August 2022 for light bulbs, to replace all old labels with the new ones.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers must take back and properly dispose of all electrical equipment they carry in their range free of charge. Even if you don't buy anything.

Repair or replace: Get a free offer

Houzy thinks and acts sustainably. That's why we looked for an innovative partner for the professional repair and replacement of household appliances in the kitchen and laundry room - and found it in SIBIRGroup AG. The SIBIRGroup is the only service organisation in Switzerland to offer a nationwide repair service for all brands of household appliances. The service specialists will be on site within 48 hours. For refrigerators or multi-family washing machines, even within 24 hours.

Is your refrigerator broken? Does your dishwasher use too much water? Or does your washing machine no longer wash as cleanly as it used to? Ask for a free repair quote in just two minutes with a few clicks. You commit to nothing and can say "no" at any time, we promise.

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