Most families rely heavily on modern appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers, tumble driers save time and energy – imagine trying to live without them!
A. Why Are Appliances So Unreliable?
There was a time when kitchen appliances were very reliable. A few decades ago, you could buy a refrigerator and expect it to last 20+ years. Not so these days.
Many appliances seem to have an in-built “kill switch” that activates after five years or so. Manufacturers deny this, but the fact is, appliances, especially those at the more affordable end of the market, are not built to last.
Appliances are largely manufactured in the Far East, with the exception of brands like Sub-Zero, Frigidaire, and GE. Parts and components are mass-produced and not always of good quality.
This is partly the reason why appliances have a nasty habit of breaking down prematurely.
One way to minimize the impact a broken-down appliance has on your life is by investing in a home warranty that covers appliances.
Look at this link to see a review of Cinch, a top home warranty provider. The site also reviews other home warranty providers, so you can make a more informed decision.
B. Which Appliances are the Least Reliable?
Not all appliances are as reliable as others.
Fridge-freezers tend to be the least reliable appliances, with 14 percent of them breaking down within three years. This could be for several reasons: they are on 24/7, and they have a lot of working parts compared to some other appliances.
Combined fridge-freezers also cost more to repair than other appliances, especially larger units with ice makers and other desirable features.
If your fridge-freezer is going to die, it will most likely happen during the summer, when it has to work a lot harder to maintain the right temperature.
Solo refrigerators are also fairly unreliable for all of the reasons above. Modern refrigerators often have a lot of electronic components, which provide digital temperature displays and more.
The downside of all this convenience is that the electrical components are the most prone to failure. All it takes is a few power surges and your fridge’s circuit board is fried.
Like fridge-freezers, refrigerators are more likely to break down in the summer. Data suggests July is a bad month for repair requests, with repairs costing on average $242.
However, depending on the model of refrigerator you own, repairs can often be a lot more expensive.
In the refrigeration category, freezers are the most reliable appliance. They don’t have as many working parts, but when they do break down, they are often quite expensive to repair.
It’s also massively inconvenient when a freezer stops working, as you may end up losing a significant quantity of food in the process.
Look after your freezer and don’t place it in a location where it has to work extra hard to maintain the right temperature.
For example, it’s convenient to put a chest freezer in a garage, but in the summer, it could get very hot in there, which places an extra load on the appliance.
A dishwasher is an essential appliance for a busy family home. When it breaks down, life can get a bit tricky, even if you live on a diet of takeout. Dishwashers are relatively reliable, thankfully, but most problems tend to occur within the first few years.
The average cost to repair a dishwasher is around $200, which isn’t too bad. Most repair tickets are submitted during the summer, so keep a close eye on yours in July and August and remember to add a limescale remover to prevent limescale from building up.
5. Washing Machine
Washing machines can sometimes be very reliable, but it depends on which brand you buy – some are better than others! The most unreliable washing machine brands have high fault rights, usually within the first three years.
This is a good reason to research brands thoroughly before making a purchase. As with freezers, it is a bad idea to keep one in an uninsulated garage or outhouse, as extreme temperatures can lead to water inlet pipes freezing, and worse.
Hot weather isn’t great for sensitive electronic components either.
6. Tumble Dryer
Tumble dryers are fairly reliable, as they don’t get used as much in the warmer months. If you want your tumble dryer to last longer, give it a break when the weather is suitable for line-drying laundry.
It is also a good idea to empty pockets before throwing clothes in the machine. Coins and other metal items can shorten the machine’s life.
Note that combined washer-dryers are less reliable overall, so always buy individual appliances if you have the space.
Cooking appliances are among the most reliable appliances, although cookers tend to break down more often than hobs. More expensive brands are usually more reliable, so read product reviews before buying.
Be careful to do some research before buying a new appliance. It’s also worth taking out a home warranty policy, so if the worst does happen, you are covered.