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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.