Signs it May Be Time to Replace Your Home Appliance

Few things are as frustrating as having a major home appliance suddenly stop working.

Whether it’s a malfunctioning HVAC system in the middle of July or a broken dishwasher after Thanksgiving dinner, a failed home appliance can mean a lot of hassle, not to mention the cost to replace them!

Fortunately, you can recognize a few signs of issues and prepare for what could be a costly repair or, at worst, a replacement.


Strange noises and poor cooling performance are the main things you should watch out for with refrigerators. 

When you hear your fridge running, it is probably trying to communicate with you – asking for help. It might be a good idea to call a technician if you hear a continuous buzz or hum. 

If you want to know if your refrigerator is cooling effectively, there are several ways to gauge it. Do the produce, containers, and other things inside seem to have just come from a sauna? This could be condensation caused by inadequate sealing (cold air escapes). It could also be a problem with the fridge’s temperature control. In either case, it might be a good time to call a technician.

Other things to look for:

  • ⬥ If the food spoils too quickly, this may be due to a malfunctioning cooling system or a cooling disparity.
  • ⬥ When you see ice forming inside the freezer, this typically signifies a malfunctioning cooling system. You should call a technician right away if this occurs.
  • ⬥ Increased energy bill- When parts of your fridge start malfunctioning, your fridge has to work harder than usual, which consumes more energy.

According to a National Association of Home Builders study, the average life of a fridge can be 13 years. This means that if your fridge has been around for 10 years, you should probably start saving up for a replacement, or at the very least, for repairs.

Heating and Cooling System

Problems with your HVAC system are fairly easy to spot; if your home doesn’t feel as cool as it once did there cool be an issue.

It could be as simple as the filters needing to be cleaned, but it could also point to the need for repair or replacement of components, such as a faulty compressor. 

Also, watch out for poor airflow, which could be the result of a malfunctioning compressor or a blocked vent.

Similarly to other major appliances, you should be aware of strange sounds and odors coming from your air conditioner. If your A/C starts spraying water all over the place or if you see lots of moisture around the vents even after cleaning the filters, you may want to consider calling a technician.

Washing Machine And Dryer

There are few warning signs on dryers and washing machines. The two main things to look out for with washing machines are strange, metallic noises and leaks. 

If you hear a grinding or metallic noise whenever you use your washing machine, or if you see any large leaks, call a technician immediately. You should also call a technician if your dryer starts smoking.

Lint can build up in the vent or filter over time. Lint accumulation could cause severe damage to the appliance and even cause a fire. An accumulation of lint in the dryer and failure to clean the filter are among the leading causes of dryer fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.


If anything goes wrong with your dishwasher, it usually displays error codes on the control panel, which removes much of the guesswork from preparing for repairs. 

The two things to watch out for are steam escaping the machine and water leaks. Both of these conditions could indicate that the door’s seal is faulty or that it might be warped or damaged in some way.

Oven And Stove

If your cooking suddenly and inexplicably goes bad, don’t assume you’ve lost your touch.

Your oven’s heating system or the cooking, baking, or broiling elements may be at fault. Another thing to watch out for is burned oven elements. These elements can be damaged and burnt out. 

Both of these will appear dark if they are burnt out, as opposed to glowing orange. A partially burned-out element will have darker spots or bubbles. 

If you’re working with a gas stove, the smell of gas could indicate future repairs are needed, as well as the control panel not working properly. It might be better to just replace the machine if the control panel fails because it is the most expensive part to repair.


Immediately contact a technician if something electrical starts to fail. Microwaves conduct an extremely high amount of electricity and are very dangerous to handle for someone who is not an electrician. Factors to watch out for include:

  • ⬥ Inadequate or uneven heating of food
  • ⬥ The microwave makes strange noises (clanking, buzzing, etc.).
  • ⬥ Burning smell when used. It could be caused by burning wires or other parts inside the microwave. When you smell burning coming from the microwave, you should unplug it immediately and call a technician.

Finally, there are a few things to watch out for with any appliance:

  •  ⬥ Strange sounds- Make note of any new sounds and investigate them.
  • ⬥ Strange or burning smells
  • ⬥ Unusual behavior- You shouldn’t expect your major appliances to behave differently every day; they should behave consistently. Monitor any change in performance or efficiency.
  • ⬥ Electric sparks- If you notice an electric spark while plugging in an appliance, immediately unplug and call an electrician or a technician.

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