All About Appliance Repair Daily

Repair or Replace my Refrigerator - What is More Cost Effective?

Jul 8

Refrigerator repair costs vary widely, making it difficult to provide straightforward answers to these questions. You've come to the right place if you want an expert opinion on whether to repair or replace your refrigerator.


What are the most common, costly issues?

Most problems, such as a broken thermostat, a worn door gasket, or a leaking icemaker, can be fixed for a reasonable price. So, unless you despise your current refrigerator, these issues aren't enough to justify buying a new one.


Only a few big-ticket repairs, mostly involving sealed system repairs, raise the question of whether to repair or replace. All of the items listed below can cost hundreds of dollars, or even more on high-end appliances.


  • Compressor failure – This doesn't necessarily mean the end, but if your refrigerator was purchased for less than $1,000, it's probably not worth replacing the compressor. Compressors are among the more expensive components, and their replacement necessitates the use of specialized equipment and training. That said, it's a repair we perform on a daily basis, and our technicians have all of the necessary specialized knowledge.
  • Refrigerant leaks do not have to spell the end of the world, but they must be addressed by a professional. Replacing the refrigerant isn't a viable option because it will leak out again (anyone who tries to sell you on "refilling the refrigerant" is attempting to defraud you). Finding and repairing the leak, on the other hand, is very reliable and can extend the life of your refrigerator.
  • Control board failure – A skilled technician can easily replace, repair, and reprogramme control boards. (Anything can be fixed by a well-trained technician!) However, the parts can be costly, and repairing and reprogramming the control board takes longer and requires more labor than a typical service call.
  • Major cabinet rust – No, this isn't a joke; this is the final chapter. We can fix almost anything, but no one is going to replace a refrigerator's cabinet or frame.


However, a warm compartment could be caused by a failed compressor or a single faulty thermostat. Always have a professional technician diagnose the problem first.


The brand of refrigerator matters a great deal


The Price of Parts

Refrigerator repair costs will vary depending on the time it takes to complete the repair, as well as the cost of parts, which varies greatly from brand to brand. A compressor or control board can cost as little as $80 for a low-cost refrigerator and as much as $800 for a high-end model. As a result, we are unable to provide accurate refrigerator repair cost estimates on this website (though we certainly can in the home). However, as a general rule, the more expensive the refrigerator is, the more expensive the parts are, and the more expensive the repair will be.


The Availability of Parts

Discontinued parts of any kind are one of the main reasons most refrigerators need to be replaced. Because the parts are no longer available, a perfectly good refrigerator with a bad fan motor may become unrepairable. This is why you buy well-known brands. The best manufacturers will produce parts for decades to support older models, whereas the parts carried by lesser brands will see a lot more turnover.


Some manufacturers don't offer spare parts at all. They replace the refrigerator if it breaks under warranty. You're on your own if it breaks two days after the warranty expires.


The Average Lifespan

You largely get what you pay for when it comes to consumer line brands.


  • Basic Refrigerators lifespan of 7 years or less
  • Refrigerators of high quality 17 years and up


Sub-Zero, at the top of the food chain, claims that its luxury refrigerators last on average 20 years. It wouldn't surprise us, as we've successfully repaired Sub-Zero refrigerators that are more than 35 years old.



There are exceptions to everything. We've worked on refrigerators dating back to the 1950s, so your Frigidaire could last you the rest of your life.

Extending the life of your refrigerator

Cleaning the condenser and replacing any filters (water, air) on the unit are usually all that is required to keep the refrigerator in good working order. It's also a good idea to check for ice or frost buildup in the freezer or refrigerator, as well as checking for fault codes on a regular basis. This is best done by a technician, and the procedure will differ from model to model.


What does NHA recommend if it's time to replace my refrigerator?

If you're looking to replace your refrigerator, we recommend the following brands:


  • Frigidaire is on the budget. You aren't getting anything flashy, but you are getting a well-known, well-supported brand at a reasonable price.
  • Samsung is a mid-range brand. For the money, you won't find a more sophisticated refrigerator with a better fit and finish.
  • Sub Zero is a high-end brand. There isn't anything else like it, and it's actually quite affordable when you consider the cost over the next 20-30 years. This is the pinnacle of luxury, and nothing compares to the brand. Made in the United States, with top-notch support and a unique design. 


However, the refrigerator in your kitchen is often the most reliable. On top of the basic refrigerator, more features and increasingly complex technologies are added with each new generation of refrigerator. More features mean more things to break, so your seemingly sound decision to buy a new refrigerator may end up costing you more money than you anticipated.


If you feel overwhelmed and need help finding certified appliance repair, give us a call.


Smart Living Home Repair Services

244 Madison Avenue , #1019

New York, NY 10016

(888) 758-9103