Few things are more aggravating than unexpected appliance breakdowns. In addition to being inconvenienced by a non-functional appliance, the costs associated with repairing and replacing certain devices are fairly steep. However, this doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to empty your bank account every time an essential appliance finds itself on the fritz. The next time a big-ticket appliance begins exhibiting problems, the following measures can help soften the financial blow.

Shop Around for a Good Home Warranty

A comprehensive home warranty can effectively take the hassle out of dealing with appliance issues. The right warranty will provide coverage for a wide range of essential appliances, ensuring that these devices can be repaired or replaced when they begin exhibiting problems. Investing in a dependable home warranty is often easier and more cost-effective than purchasing extended warranties for each appliance.

When shopping around for the right home warranty, look for options that cover your most important big-ticket appliances. Additionally, when examining home warranty prices, keep an eye out for plans that you can comfortably afford. Lastly, make sure that the company from which you’re purchasing the warranty has received high marks from scores of satisfied customers.

Confirm Whether the Issue is Covered Under the Manufacturer’s Warranty

Most big-ticket appliances have limited protection under manufacturer warranties. The number of issues these warranties cover tends to be fairly limited, and most manufacturer warranties only last between six months and one year. While the exact terms and conditions vary by appliance and manufacturer, most warranties of this type only cover problems that are undeniably the fault of the manufacturer – i.e., faulty components, improper workmanship, etc. Problems that result from overuse or owner negligence, however, generally are not covered under manufacturer warranties. Issues of this nature are best left to extended warranties and home warranties.

Still, manufacturer warranties are free, so if a relatively new appliance exhibits a problem that its warranty covers, you may as well take advantage of it. Thus, the next time a fairly recent addition to your appliance collection acts up, pull out the owner’s manual, and review the terms of the device’s manufacturer warranty. If the issue you’re experiencing is covered, you may be able to have the appliance in question repaired or replaced free of charge. Unfortunately, since many of us forget about manufacturer warranties or are completely unaware of their existence, money is often needlessly spent on problems that are covered under these warranties.

Consider Purchasing Used or Refurbished Components

Appliance issues that require component swap-outs tend to be fairly pricey, and given the high cost of new parts, there’s little wonder as to why. If an essential appliance has recently found itself in need of a new component, going the used or refurbished route may be the most cost-effective course of action. These parts tend to be considerably less expensive – and just as reliable – as brand-new components, so the next time you’re in the market for appliance parts, just remember that you have options.

Weigh the Benefits of Replacing Over Repairing

Depending on how big an issue you’re dealing with, replacing a faulty appliance may ultimately prove more cost-effective than having it repaired. Although purchasing a brand-new refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine may cost you more in the short term, doing so stands to save you a small fortune in the long run. Thus, the next time a big-ticket appliance requires a large-scale repair, carefully consider the age of the device, how often it’s needed to be repaired in the past and how much has been spent maintaining it throughout its lifetime. There’s very little benefit in continuing to sink money into an appliance that’s well past its prime.

Many of us don’t realize how important certain appliances are until we’re forced to live without them. Not only can appliance breakdowns be frustrating, but they can also put a strain on one’s personal finances. Since repairing and replacing big-ticket appliances can prove quite costly, budget-conscious homeowners would be wise to familiarize themselves with an assortment of effective money-saving measures. While there’s no denying that repair and replacement costs can be steep, there are numerous ways to avoid leaving a hole in your bank account every time an essential appliance acts up.