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Fix or Toss Old Appliances?

Sometimes it makes most sense to replace appliances instead of repairing them.

Q. How do I decide whether to replace or repair aging appliances?

A. Unless you have a beloved higher-end model, it usually makes better financial sense to replace broken kitchen and laundry appliances if they are eight years old or older, or if the repair costs at least half the price of a new model, suggests Consumer Reports. Consider replacing ailing vacuums and dishwashers after six years and a computer if it’s at least five years old and the repair exceeds one-third the cost of a comparable new model.

Look for products with a blue-and-white Energy Star label —these appliances use up to 50 percent less energy than standard models and may qualify you for tax breaks. Many communities have rebate programs, too.

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life(AARP Books/Sterling).

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