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    The House Method team dove into homeowner spending habits for major appliances to see how these rates have evolved over the past few years. Unsurprisingly, the rates have increased, leaving many buyers in a gridlock when it comes to affording important home equipment. We found that repairs are often far more affordable than replacements, and a home warranty is an excellent tool for managing repair costs.

    Key statistics to know:

    • The inflation rate of appliance prices rose 7.8% from April 2021 to April 20221.
    • As of 2020, the average household spent around $135 per year2 on small household appliances.
    • The average household expenditure for major appliances is around $354 per year3.
    • The consumer price index of major appliances was up 9.5% from May 2021 to May 20224.

    Your home’s appliances assist with daily tasks like cooking, washing dishes, drying clothes, and preserving fresh food. These machines make life a whole lot easier – and you likely forget how convenient they are until something breaks.

    Appliance repairs cost a pretty penny, and replacement fees are even steeper. Keep reading to learn about recent expenditure trends for home appliances and how you can combat skyrocketing price tags on the items you use most.

    How Has the Cost of Appliances Changed Over Time?

    The supply chain crisis is disrupting more than just building material sales. Major appliances are also caught up in the storm, making it difficult for homeowners to get their hands on affordable items.

    The demand for laundry room and kitchen appliances is high, while the supply of such items is incredibly low. Manufacturers must raise wholesale prices to keep up with the demand, which, in turn, drives up retail pricing.

    Metin Ozkuzey, appliance expert and President of Designer Appliances, claims supply chain issues are only part of the equation.

    “Following a brief slow-down in sales in March 2019, consumer demand skyrocketed,” Ozkuzey says. “The net effect is even more exorbitant if you couple the supply shortages with diminishing rebates and canceled seasonal promotions.”

    Since 2019, appliance prices have continually crept upward. The GE French Door Refrigerator is up 20% in price – from around $1,950 in 2019 to a whopping $2,300 in 2022.

    Item 2020 Price 2021 Price 2022 Price
    Bosch 500 Series Dishwasher $844 $999 $1,049
    Whirlpool Dishwasher $534 $579 $699

    The COVID-19 pandemic has also created a new work-from-home situation for many homeowners, which means people are using their appliances more than ever. This wear and tear results in a more frequent need for repairs because the equipment is more likely to break. In fact, the average household spending on home furnishings and equipment rose from 3.3% to 3.8% from 2019 to 20205.

    How Much Does the Average Household Spend on Appliances Annually?

    According to a 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the average household spends around $354 per year on major appliances3. This number compares to an average annual expenditure of $214 in 2013. If you have to replace just one machine in your home, your expenditure will be at the high end of the price range.

    Your bill will be lower if you opt to repair a broken appliance instead of replacing it. According to the United States Public Interest Research Group, repairs greatly reduce annual household spending on new electronics and appliances. The study notes that the average family could save around $330 per year by repairing existing items. If 122 million national households followed this trend, the savings would reach $40 billion.

    You’ll pay for several different items if you opt to repair instead of replace them. The bulk of your repair cost will come from service fees and part replacement costs. JB Appliance Solutions charges a $75 diagnostic fee and a $125 preventative maintenance fee in addition to the repair costs. Other companies charge up to $125 for service call fees alone.

    The table below shows average repair and replacement costs for common home appliances:

    The truth is – most homeowners will need at least one appliance repair every couple of years. Even if the problem is relatively minor – such as a dryer not heating or a dishwasher not draining – you still might fork out a couple of hundred dollars for service call fees and part replacements. If something goes wrong and an appliance is beyond repair, you’re likely looking at over $500 for a new machine.

    How a Home Warranty Can Help You Save on Appliance Repairs

    Home warranties are service contracts homeowners can purchase for coverage on home systems and appliance repairs. You will pay a yearly or monthly premium for the plan and a service fee for each technician visit.

    The primary benefit of a home warranty is that the coverage extends past the manufacturer’s warranty to cover normal wear and tear on the items you use every day. This coverage is especially valuable for appliances prone to breaking down over time from continuous use. Appliance expert Ozkuzey notes that home appliances typically last five to seven years, so you should expect a repair every two to three years.

    If you buy a plan through a company like Choice Home Warranty, you may save a lot on annual appliance repairs and replacements. These plans typically cost around $50-$70 per month and $60-$95 for each service call.

    You should select a contract that covers a combination of appliances and systems for the most comprehensive coverage. Appliance repairs can cost over a thousand dollars, and systems repairs often surpass $10,000. In these cases, a $600-$700 annual home warranty plan is well worth the cost.

    Final Thoughts

    The best way to save money and avoid costly repairs is to keep your items up-to-date on routine maintenance. Maintenance will likely lengthen the appliances’ lifespans and alert you of any potential problems lurking in the background. Schedule routine maintenance appointments with a local service provider, or practice preventive care yourself.

    Tips for DIY appliance maintenance:

    • Empty your clothes dryer’s lint trap after every use to prevent the machine from overheating.
    • Clean your dishwasher’s filter every couple of months to avoid drainage issues.
    • Clean your oven and microwave regularly to improve their performance and prevent spills and food particles from burning into the machines’ parts.
    • Vacuum out your refrigerator’s condenser coils to improve energy efficiency and prevent repair needs.
    • Avoid overfilling your clothes washer to prevent the motor from premature burnout.

    Sources:

    1. Statista, “Year-over-year inflation rate of selected non-food goods in the United States in April 2022, by category.” Accessed July 25, 2022.
    2. Statista, “Mean annual expenditure on small appliances, miscellaneous housewares per consumer unit in the United States from 2007 to 2020.” Accessed July 25, 2022.
    3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2020.” Accessed July 25, 2022.
    4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Price Index—June 2022.” Accessed July 25, 2022.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Expenditures in 2020.” Accessed July 25, 2022.


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