Investing in Quality
Quality can be a somewhat scary word to a consumer. Advertisements and salesmen abuse the word, using it as an argument for why we should pay extra for a particular service. But we think about the word differently. A quality experience or product is one that the customer does not regret, and is glad that they purchased. And price is part of quality. Finding a complete experience at a price that you think is fair is the goal of quality service.
Long Term vs Short Term
When it comes to appliances, spending your money wisely can give you a great experience, while decreasing your cost in the long run. In a famous example of why upwards mobility can be difficult for the impoverished, imagine two workers. We will call them Jim and Joe. They both need boots for their job. Jim has some extra money, but Joe is strapped for cash. Jim buys 150-dollar boots. They last him for three years before he needs to replace them. Joe can’t afford the more expensive pair, so he buys the 100-dollar pair. These wear out after a single year, and by the third year, Joe has spent 300 dollars, twice as much as Jim!
The lesson here holds true in many areas. Sometimes, spending a bit more money up front can save you in the long run. This is not always the case obviously, but with a bit of research, you can determine the average life expectancy for an appliance. Do your research, and talk to people who have experience. If you can accurately determine things like life expectancy and cost of upkeep for different models, you will be able to make better financial decisions. And over time, small financial decisions add up. Rather than incurring unpleasant and unnecessary recurring costs, find the best way to minimize these expenses.
With that said, there will always be costs for upkeep and repair. However, this is a good thing, not a negative. Repair and upkeep on household appliances is one of the major factors which keeps their prices down. First, because it is usually cheaper to repair than to replace, investing money in a bit of care or a small repair can save you the cost of a new unit. A new unit every time yours experiences a small problem would be a massive expense, and also a massive waste. Secondly, because more people keep their appliances for longer, the overall demand goes down. A decrease in demand, means a decrease in price. So its clear: in aggregate, the existence of repairmen drastically decreases the costs incurred by home and business owners. But what about for you personally?
Keep It Running
Upkeep is one of the most commonly neglected parts of appliance ownership. Appliances have mechanical components, and all mechanical components eventually fail. Whether it is the compressor in your refrigerator, or the motor in your dishwasher, these components will eventually go out and need to be replaced. But the rate at which the fail is directly related to the demands on them. If you are constantly running your dishwasher without ever cleaning it, the additional gunk which builds up will begin to jam the system, causing it to work harder and harder until it fails. Instead, take the time to perform a routine cleaning. A basic and regular cleaning should include scrubbing out the inside, removing large particulate matter, and perhaps following your dishwasher’s user manual for instructions on a potential chemical cleaning. More in depth cleanings are also good though. Every once and a while (depending on use), you should do a more thorough cleaning. This might involve disassembly of some or many of its components. In this situation, it can be worth your time to hire a professional. Many offer cleaning or examination services, and these services can greatly extend the life of your product. Paying a small sum now would be a wonderful investment if it puts off the replacement of an appliance for another few years.
Sometimes though, appliances just fail. Maybe a mechanical component has worn out, perhaps a chemical reaction has caused corrosion or other problems. Maybe the electrical system has shorted out. No matter the specific situation, it is worth your time to look for a repairman. As noted above, replacing a single component is nearly always cheaper than replacing the entire system. And not only with this save you money, but it is eco-friendly as well. Throwing a perfectly good dishwasher into a landfill because one circuit is shorted out is a massive waste, and instead of simply incurring the manufacturing costs of a small chip, you have now created enough demand for an entire new machine. But whether your motives are financial or conscientious, it just makes sense to call a repairman first thing.