Inflation is affecting prices on everything from groceries to your utility bill. And home appliances have also seen a major surge — which can really cost you since these products were already so costly to begin with.
“We’re seeing that home appliances, HVAC systems, electrical components and water heaters are all being impacted by cost inflation,” said Raj Midha, senior vice president and general manager at American Home Shield. “Equipment and parts that use raw materials like microchips, metal, plastics and lumber are becoming more difficult to source and as a result, are increasing in price.”
Here’s a look at just how much costs are rising, and how homeowners can take preventative measures to avoid having to replace their pricey appliances and HVAC systems.
Appliances and Heating and Cooling Systems Are Now Significantly More Expensive
“Consumers can expect double-digit increases for prices of some appliances, air conditioners and water heaters,” Midha said.
As of December 2021, appliance prices were up 13% year over year and HVAC system prices were up 14% year over year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We have seen in the market that the prices for water heaters are up by 40% or more compared to the same time just one year ago,” Midha added.
Preventive Appliance Maintenance Can Save You Big Time
If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to replace your refrigerator or HVAC system this year, it can pay to do some preventive maintenance. The first step is to figure out if your appliance is due for any professional maintenance.
“For each appliance in your home, such as your oven, refrigerator and dishwasher, we recommend taking the time to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions,” Midha said. “Since recommendations can vary among brands and models, it’s crucial to do your research. If your appliances came with your home and you don’t have a copy from the previous owners, check the manufacturer’s website for an electronic version.”
In between any necessary professional maintenance, keeping your appliances clean can help them to last longer.
“A good rule of thumb is to clean appliances — inside and out — on a regular basis,” Midha said. “Keeping the gaskets clean around appliance doors and cleaning refrigerator coils can help it run more efficiently.”
You should also check your appliances to see which ones have removable filters that need to be cleaned or replaced.
“For instance, the filters in your heating and air conditioning units should be replaced around every 90 days,” Midha said. “Similarly, some dishwashers, ice makers and other appliances also have removable filters that should be maintained for proper operation.”
Using appliances properly will also help to prolong their lifespan. Failure to do so can cause them to break earlier than expected.
“For example, overloading a washer or dryer can cause it to fail prematurely,” Midha said.
Consider a Home Warranty
A home warranty can also save you from having to pay for expensive appliance replacements out of pocket.
“A home warranty plan that covers routine repairs or replacement can protect you from having to buy a new appliance at that inflated price,” Midha said. “The price of that plan is also locked in for the year ahead, meaning it will not increase regardless of continued inflation.”
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