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Know the 50% Rule
The 50% rule states: If the appliance is more than 50% through its expected lifespan (you can usually find life-span estimates in the manual or online). And the expected cost of repairs and replacements is more than 50% of buying a new appliance, you should probably replace the appliance entirely. This is helpful when comparing the costs of home appliance repair, professional services, DIY work and replacement.
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Listen to Your Moving Parts
Moving parts are by far the most likely to fail due to wear or malfunction. When repairing appliances, start by taking a look at the moving parts. And for most appliances, this means check out the fans and motors to make sure they are functioning correctly. Your best hint for home appliance repair is typically noise. Fans, motors and similar components tend to make a lot of noise when they are failing. Note that fans and fan belts are relatively easy to replace, while motors are expensive and more difficult to repair or replace.
Photo: Arthiti Kholoet/Shutterstock
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Understand the Refrigerant Cycle
Refrigerant is present in many appliances, including heat pumps, air conditioners and refrigerators, so it's important to understand the refrigerant cycle, how it works, and what can go wrong. And this guide will help you understand the path refrigerant takes and how the evaporator, compressor and condenser all work together. This makes it much easier to do home appliance repair and find specific problems when one of these components slows down or starts malfunctioning. So you can know what sort of maintenance your fridge needs and when it may have a refrigerant leak or similar problem.