When's the last time you were happy with your appliance?
Nearly 30 years ago it was not uncommon for an local appliance repair company to service home appliances that could boast the age of 25 or even 30 years of age.
As recently as the early 1990s an appliance repair company tech could confidently schedule two or more appliance repairs on units of this vintage, each and every day.
The Whirlpool/Sears Kenmore belt-driven washing machine certainly required service that included replacement of the belt, pup or wig-wag, but the frame and support structure hadn’t yet reached its peak. It was built to last.
Refrigerators built by Frigidaire (then owned by General Motors) and General Electric refrigerators could have lasted 50 years (as a matter of fact some of our customers still rely on these appliances in their garages and basements for additional storage, and these exact machines are now celebrating their 60th birthdays! Imagine that!
So, the question is…what has changed? In the booming age of conscious energy consumption, consumers today have been programmed to continually replace appliances in the interest of energy savings. But are we really saving?
Remember the Maytag Man? He’d enter a home smiling, perform a minor adjustment, sporting his white uniform, and be on his way in a jiffy. The Maytag ‘Dependable Care’ washer was an engineering marvel. This washing machine had slipping belts that would engage and come up to speed during draining.
A local appliance repair company would only have to stock a handful of parts to effectively service the modern family’s appliances.
We have a customer that owned a Maytag washer and dryer for nearly 24 years and has replaced that pair of machines three times in the past 15 years because the repairs were half the cost of replacement at the time and the appliances don't last. Appliances have almost become disposable. They just 'don't make 'em like they used to.'
Energy efficiency is a great thing and certainly shouldn’t be disparaged; however it seems that what we’re doing is trading dollars, not saving them. Today’s family is consumed with saving water and energy and thus the continuous effort of replacing appliances (and many other products) more frequently than in previous years. What about the energy and cost in producing the units that are being delivered to homeowners across the country and displayed in appliance and home center stores? What about the pollution and fossil fuel burning that takes place as the result of this manufacturing? And, are the appliances manufactured here in the good old USA? Are the jobs being kept here?
And what about the cost to properly reclaim the recyclable materials from these short-lived machines? Today’s appliance’s metal parts are so heavily combined with plastics that the effort to extract the recyclable component becomes difficult if not impossible.
Gone are the yester-years when a homeowner could call upon the local appliance repairman, anxiously await his arrival, watch a quick repair, catch up on some friendly small talk, perhaps even share a quick cup of java and bid farewell until the next appliance repair service call, which would be in the distant future, or at least on a different appliance.
Bring back those days when the consumer really got his or her money’s worth when investing in a washer or dryer, refrigerator, or dishwasher. The sound of ‘it’s not worth repairing, I might as well replace it’ congers up the vision of circuit boards, computer chips, and costly repairs or parts that are no longer manufactured because it’s just more profitable (for the appliance manufacturers) to ‘throw out the baby with the bath water today…’
Have some thoughts? We would sure love to hear them…
Maintaining your appliances is still a great way to extend their useful life.
Need appliance repair service or maintenance in northern New Jersey? Give us a shout!