14 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Appliances (Beyond Just Being Outdated)

Appliances are supposed to make life easier, but what happens when they start to show signs of wear and tear? If your appliances are out of style but working fine, then replacing them is a matter of preference.

However, if your dishwasher won’t clean and your fridge doesn’t keep your food fresh, you’ve got a problem. Either you start doing things the old-fashioned way (eek!), or it’s time for an upgrade. Not sure if your oven or washing machine is past its prime? Here are 14 signs it’s time to upgrade your appliances.

1. The Fridge Or Freezer Feels Warm To The Touch

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A sign that it’s time to upgrade your fridge or freezer is if it feels hot to the touch. Although this isn’t a common problem, it’s a big one, signaling a major issue with the fridge coils. If you need to replace the coils, you may as well replace the whole refrigerator. Coil replacement can cost over $1,000 in certain models.

2. Your Appliances Make Funny Noises

If you hear strange buzzing noises from your fridge or clanking, humming, or other mysterious sounds coming from your appliances, it’s not a good sign. These sounds typically signal issues ranging from loosening parts to pieces working harder than they should. Some sounds could be a minor problem. But if the sound persists and your appliance is already near the upper end of its lifespan, it may be time to replace it.

3. You’re Ordering More Take-Out

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When every other meal comes in cardboard containers and paper bags, take a moment to ask yourself why. Is it because life suddenly got super hectic, or are you avoiding your appliances? If your appliances are more of a hassle than a help, it’s understandable that you’d rather dial DoorDash.

4. You Notice An Increase In Your Energy Bills

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Appliances that aren’t working properly can lead to a spike in utility bills. Leaking appliances also cause increases in your water bill. If your monthly utility budget is suddenly on the rise, consider if faulty appliances are to blame.

5. Food Is Spoiling Faster Than It Should

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Are you throwing food out long before the expiration date on the packaging? Does produce wilt and wither within days of putting it in the fridge? If your fridge or freezer feels cold but food spoils prematurely, your appliances could be struggling to reach an appropriate temperature.

6. Your Clothes And Dishes Aren’t Getting Clean

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After running the dishwasher, if you notice dishes are still dirty, you might assume you need a different detergent. If you notice your clothes and linens are dirty or smelly after running them through the wash, it could be the detergent, or you may need to clean your washing machine. Otherwise, call a specialist to identify possible culprits and brace yourself for a potential appliance upgrade.

7. You Notice Leaks And Puddles On The Floor

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If you notice constant leaks from your dishwasher, fridge, washing machine, or water heater, it could be time to replace your appliance. Some reasons for a leak could be simple, like a clogged hose. However, if your appliances are older and starting to leak, it’s more likely time for new ones. A general rule of thumb is if the repair costs 50% or more than a new appliance, replace it.

8. Rust Spots Are Forming

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Small spots of rust on appliances like your dryer or washing machine may not pose an immediate problem. You can attempt to clean surface rust spots with a paste of baking soda and water. However, for more severe rust or rust on appliances that handle food, it’s better to replace them. Rust can end up in your food, leading to health and safety concerns.

9. The Dryer Isn’t Drying Anymore

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If the laundry is still wet when you pull it out of the dryer, start with the basics first. Was it in the right setting? Are the lint trap and external dryer vent clear? If so, it could be an issue with the heating element. Professional replacement can cost a few hundred. If your dryer is already older and starting to experience a few problems, it could be time to upgrade your appliance.

10. You Notice A Burning Smell When Operating Appliances

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Unless the burning smell you notice is the chicken you forgot in the oven, burning smells from your appliances are never a good sign. Faulty parts or wiring don’t just render your appliance unusable; they also make them a safety hazard.

11. Your Stove, Oven, And Microwave Aren’t Cooking Food Properly

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If your stove, oven, or microwave are on the fritz, you’ll likely notice your food isn’t cooking properly (or at all). Food may come out undercooked or overdone, even though you’ve set your devices the same way you always do.

12. You’re Taking A Lot More Cold Showers

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Does the water not get hot, or does your shower suddenly run cold before you barely have time to open the shampoo? If you notice a serious decline in your hot water supply, your water heater might be on its last leg.

13. You Have Appliance Repair Specialists On Speed Dial

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You’ll inevitably have the occasional problem with an appliance. Typically, you call the repair specialist, and they come out and resolve the issue. Then, you go about your merry way. But if you’re starting to call a technician every other week, it’s time to add up how much you’re dishing out on repairs. Sometimes, the more cost-effective option is to get a replacement.

14. Your Appliances No Longer Fit Your Lifestyle

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Sometimes, upgrading your appliances has nothing to do with their condition. They could be in perfect working order, but life changes make them less functional. For example, you have kids, and suddenly, that small washing machine can’t handle the larger loads of laundry. Or the 40-gallon water heater that was perfect for two people doesn’t work as well for four family members.