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Repair or replace? Jean Chatzky shares what to do when costly home items break

Does it feel like your home is falling apart? Well don't shell out the cash to buy a new fridge, dishwasher or other appliance just yet.
/ Source: TODAY

Does it feel like your home is falling apart? Well don’t shell out the cash to buy a new fridge, dishwasher or other appliance just yet. TODAY’s financial editor Jean Chatzky has tips on when to repair and when to replace your costly home items when they break down.

Replace the refrigerator

Refrigerator repairs can be expensive, and it’s often just as much to simply buy a new unit. For example, replacing a side-by-side refrigerator freezer from 1999 with an Energy Star model could save you more than $320 over five years of use, which is roughly the cost of an average repair.

Replace your 10-year-old dishwasher

If you have had the same dishwasher for 10 years or more, don’t bother repairing it. The average dishwasher is expected to last nine years, and you’ve most likely squeezed as much life out of it as you can. A new Energy Star dishwasher can be purchased for as little as $400, while a repair can cost you more than $250.

And if you don’t have a dishwasher, it might be most cost effective to get one. Chatzky says that the 10-year average cost to hand wash dishes is $754, while it would cost about $323 to run a dishwasher.

Repair your smartphone’s screen

So your smartphone hit the cement. Don’t run to the phone store quite yet. Replacing a screen will cost you around $100 from a service like iCracked or Best Buy’s Geek Squad, while an iPhone 6 replacement could cost you at least $299. Even if you are due for a carrier upgrade, you will pay approximately $200 for the cost of a new iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S5.

Repair your 10-year-old furnace

Furnaces typically last 15 to 20 years on average, so you should be able to squeeze another five to 10 years with the one you own. A newer, more efficient model will cost you around $1,600, so if the repairs are significantly less than that, go ahead and fix it up.

Repair a 5-year-old electric dryer

Dryers should run for about 13 years, so your unit still has a lot of life left. The average dryer repair costs about $200, while a new unit altogether will be about $600. Plus many homeowners can often fix the issue themselves by clearing the vent or tubing.

Repair your 10-year-old asphalt shingle roof

The average cost of a roof replacement is $19,528, according to Remodeling’s latest cost versus value survey, while repairing a 10-foot by 10-foot area will cost closer to $600. Shingles roofs should last 20 to 25 years, so only replace if your roof is more than 20 years old or is wearing out in multiple spots.