Environmental Benefits of Repairing Your Appliances

22nd Jan 2024

We rely on multiple appliances constantly to get us through our daily routines. Washing machines and dishwashers keep our belongings clean and refrigerators keep us fed. But when one of those appliances breaks down, you're faced with a choice — should you repair it or replace it?

The Environmental Impact of Appliance Repair vs Replacing

If you're dedicated to living a sustainable lifestyle, repairing your existing appliance is the way to go. In this article, we'll talk about the benefits of repairing your appliances versus buying brand new ones. You'll be able to walk away with the tools for greener living.

Signs an Appliance is Broken

Before you consider repairing or replacing an appliance, you need to be certain it is broken. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Its performance is inconsistent — Is your dryer taking too long to dry clothes? Can your oven not reach a certain temperature? This is one of the clearest signs that the appliance is broken.
  • The appliance is leaking water — You should never ignore a leak from any appliance. Even a small one can eventually turn into a large problem.
  • Your utility bills have gone up — This is a major warning sign for gas appliances like ovens, stoves, and ranges. A failing appliance will perform less efficiently. The worse the appliance performs, the more energy it uses. That will lead to your energy bills going up.
  • Your appliances are making strange noises — Machines don't operate in complete silence, but they shouldn't make any new or strange noises either. Listen for any unusually loud humming, whining, clanking, or buzzing.
  • You smell something burning — This is usually a clear sign that something is overheating within one of your appliances. Typically, this originates from the electrical wiring.
  • The appliance is unresponsive — If your appliance will not turn on, check its plug and make sure it didn't trip its breaker. If neither of these turn it on, then your machine is likely broken.
  • Your appliance is shaking — If your washing machine or freezer is shaking vigorously, this is a sign that something is wrong. Make sure to get this checked out as soon as you can.
  • Your fridge or freezer is the wrong temperature — If your fridge or freezer temperature is off, keep an eye on it. If your fridge is not cold enough and food is spoiling or your freezer is too cold and it's full of frost, something is likely wrong with the machine.
  • Your appliance is hot to the touch — Some appliances may get a little warm while they're running, but they should never be hot. This especially goes for your fridge. This can be a sign of a variety of different things that have broken down in your appliance.

repairing dishwasher appliances

Why You Should Repair Your Appliances Instead of Replace

Smart appliances are all the rage these days, so it might be appealing to purchase one. But if you're looking to give back to the environment, repairing those appliances is the way to go. Here are some reasons to repair instead of replacing:

Reduce Landfill Waste

When you throw away an appliance, it will likely end up in a landfill. This happens with far too many appliances every year, contributing to rapid environmental degradation. Throwing out appliances also leads to e-waste, which produces significant amounts of pollution. But when you opt to repair instead of replacing, you help to reduce the waste that ends up in landfills.

Conserve Resources and Energy

As the Pinnacle List says, "manufacturing new home equipment requires many belongings, including metals, plastics, and extraordinary raw substances. Extracting and processing those substances devour significant quantities of electricity and frequently bring about habitat destruction and pollutants.”

But when more people repair instead of replacing, the demand for new parts will go down. In turn, that means the energy needed to create that equipment will also lessen. All-in-all, you'll significantly reduce your appliance's carbon footprint.

Reduce Carbon Emissions

As mentioned, the manufacturing and transportation of appliances contribute to carbon emissions that play a significant role in global warming. Newer appliances may boast energy-efficient performance, But expanding the lifecycle of an older appliance has significant environmental advantages. By doing this, you’re actively contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy that values the preservation of existing resources.

Promoting a Sustainable Lifestyle

We all need to do our part in helping the environment. When you make more sustainable choices, that makes a statement to your friends and family. That might inspire them to make some more eco-friendly choices in their own lives. The more people who make these decisions can make a real impact.

repairman working on freezer

What to Look for in an Appliance Service Technician

If you've decided to repair your appliance instead of replacing it, you have one more step to go — deciding whether to repair the appliance yourself, or picking a person to do the job for you. If you are handy, you’ll find that YouTube has many tutorial videos to help you with your own appliance repair. The skilled staff at McCombs Supply are another great resource for finding the exact part you need, and some guidance to help you do it yourself.

But if you choose to use an appliance repair service, it's important to go with a skilled individual who is aligned with your wishes for a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are some considerations to think about when considering the right technician for your home.

washing machine in operation

Green Certifications

Whenever you hire an appliance repair technician, they should always have proper certifications. But you can go above and beyond that to find someone who is green-certified. There has been a rise in demand for green building, meaning that a lot of appliance technicians are certified in the practice. When considering the right repair person for the job, look for someone with those types of certificates.

Expertise in New Appliance Technology

If you're repairing an existing appliance, you should get the upgrades you want. But in order to do so, you'll need someone who is up on the latest in new appliance technology. Things have changed rapidly in recent years. Because of that, you should opt for a repair person that is in the loop and can upgrade your appliances with the newest technology.

For example, propane is becoming a popular refrigerant option. As Carel says, "its impact on the greenhouse effect, that is the direct emissions, is negligible: therefore, it is not subject to restrictions and can be considered a long-term solution."

It's also almost two times more efficient than most common HFC refrigerants. Finally, propane is also a low-cost fluid that has remained at a relatively stable price for the last few years.

Similarly, many Americans are considering induction cooking appliances. In fact, a June 2022 Consumer's Report survey says that almost 70% of people said they would consider induction for their next range or cooktop. If you have this type of range or cooktop, your repair person should be someone who has worked on this type of appliance before.

Consumers have begun to gravitate toward these appliances because they're better for the environment. As the Department of Energy says, these appliances are more efficient than traditional cooktop appliances because they "only create heat through pots and pans on their surfaces. This improved energy performance can also mean lower energy costs.”

They're also free of the pollutants that come from cooking with gas stoves. Traditional appliances produce nitrous oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (HCHO). These gasses can bring on negative effects, such as exacerbating respiratory conditions.

Finally, you can get a smart version of nearly any home appliance. You should be able to control these machines remotely from your mobile device. That will ensure that no device is running any more than it should be.

washing machine repair parts

Range of Services

If you have multiple appliances that are starting to fail, why not repair them at once? If that's the case, look for a repair service that can provide a wide array of services. While it may be a bit of an investment at first, multiple upgraded benefits will prove to be a benefit to you in the long run.

Response Time

Going too long without a working dishwasher or oven is a major disruption to your life. That's why it's important to select a repair service that prioritizes timely repairs. Look for organizations that offer same-day or next-day service.


You should never go into business with a person who has a poor reputation — the same goes for an appliance repair person. Once you've narrowed down a few options, do a deep dive of their business online. Look at their online reviews and social media comments. It's healthy for a business to have a mix of mostly positive and some negative reviews, but too many poor ones is a red flag.


You should have a clear expectation of pricing before you go into business with your appliance repair service before the work begins. Make sure to ask about potential additional charges and fees too so you have a full understanding of what to expect. Having an honest conversation about pricing ensures you'll be able to make an informed decision.

Eco-Friendly Prices

Working with a green-certified company is great, but it's important to make sure your repair person practices what they preach. Before you start repairs, talk to the person about the sustainable practices that are most important to you. Choosing a business that aligns with your values will provide an additional level of satisfaction to you.

How Repaired Appliances Promote Sustainable Living

Our homes use a lot of energy to support our daily routines. The Department of Energy says that households use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980.

Repairing and upgrading your appliances can help to bring those numbers down. Here are some benefits you can expect:

  • More connected homes — Smart appliances often come with an accompanying mobile app that can provide real time data to educate you on your energy usage. This technology will only become better and smarter. The longer you use these connected appliances, the better you'll understand how to lower your energy use.
  • Carbon-fighting clothing dryers — The Department of energy says that Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying. The result will be a "more efficient dryer that has the potential to lower energy consumption by 60 percent compared to conventional ones on the market today."
  • Advanced window controls — New highly insulated windows are in the works, and they have the potential to completely revolutionize consumers' energy consumption. They'll be able to "use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money."
  • Reflective roofing materials — Cool roofs have become a trend in green building. These roofs are coated with materials that reflect sunshine and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries are continuing to work on these materials, meaning that cool roofs will only get cooler.
  • Better lighting — LED lights have been on the market for a long time. However, the technology continues to improve. Research is currently ongoing to make these bulbs even more efficient and long-lasting.

TL;DR - Start Living More Sustainably and Repair Your Appliances

It's easy to replace an appliance when it begins to break down. But the more responsible choice would be to repair it. Once you notice an appliance's performance is inconsistent, or it is unresponsive, or making strange noises, start to look into repairing it. If you make this choice, you'll be giving back to the environment in many ways. You'll reduce landfill waste, conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions, and more.

Make sure to select a repair service who reflects your values, has a strong reputation, and has a deep expertise in new appliance technology. When your newly repaired appliance is infused with cutting-edge technology, you'll see benefits such as decreased energy usage and better insulation in your home. For easier repairs, do-it-yourself is a viable option with parts and guidance from McCombs Supply.

If you're ready to commit to a greener lifestyle, McCombs is ready to be your partner. If you have an appliance that isn't functioning at peak levels, take a look at our website for the replacement part you need. Give us a call at 717-299-3866 or email us at cs@mccombssupply.com to talk to an expert before the work begins. We're committed to assisting you on your journey to more sustainable appliances.

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