The Importance of Appliance Reliability
Do You Have Appliance Reliability?
Today’s modern appliances often come with a variety of amazing features. Even if you don’t own one yourself, you’ve probably heard of smart appliances that connect to other systems in your smart house and can even text you on your smartphone.
But there’s one quality that appliance manufacturers and appliance buyers have sought right from the start, and that’s appliance reliability. You don’t have to think for long to realize appliance reliability is still important today. You surely don’t want an appliance that fails to work as it should, requires frequent repair calls, and disrupts normal life in your household when it breaks down. The fact that it cost a substantial amount to purchase to begin with will only add to the aggravation.
Ideally, you want the most reliable washer and dryer, the most reliable refrigerator, the most reliable microwave, etc. But how is appliance reliability achieved, and what should you look when trying to choose a highly reliable appliance?
Appliance Reliability Begins with Product Testing
Manufacturers attempt to achieve appliance reliability and overall quality control by conducting product testing. The form this testing takes and how extensive and effective it is may vary from company to company.
GE Appliances, for example, currently operates more than 50 product evaluation labs. The complexity and increased functionality of modern appliances require them to pass some tests that no one would have thought of in our grandparents’ day. If an appliance is supposed to have Wi-Fi connectivity, one test may evaluate whether it can stay connected in the face of electromagnetic interference.
It’s good to know that virtually all manufacturers conduct at least some product testing, but it doesn’t necessarily help you determine which appliances are most graced with product reliability. Fortunately, there are resources that will.
How to Investigate Appliance Reliability
Consumer Reports offers ratings of the reliability of different makes of appliances on their website.
You can find reviews and ratings of appliance reliability elsewhere on the Internet as well, and your family, friends, and acquaintances may have illuminating experiences to share.
When Appliance Reliability Fails
Despite all that product testing, it’s a sad fact of life that appliances do break down, and when they do, their greater complexity can mitigate against a speedy repair. In 2016, Consumer Reports reported that about 40% of appliances were not fixed when the technician made his or her initial visit.
One reason for that is that there may well be a wait for parts. The service provider may no have a particular part in stock, and thus the first visit turns out to be purely diagnostic. The part required to actually make the repair could arrive days or weeks later.
The greater complexity of modern appliances also makes them more expensive to fix. It’s not unusual for a repair to cost several times what it would have cost in a previous era. Depending on the warranty, that might not concern the owner unduly while the warranty is in effect, but it could be a galling discovery later on.
The often-substantial cost of repairing a major appliance can incline a person to discard a broken that’s out of warranty and buy a new one. When it does, landfills and recycling plants must deal with the metal and plastic you’re getting rid of. Thus, if you’re environmentally conscious, that’s yet another sound reason to seek out appliances with high appliance reliability.