Why Does It Cost More to Repair Smart Appliances?

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated April 18, 2022
Woman using smart refrigerator
Photo: E+/Getty Images

Highlights

  • Smart appliances have more electrical components on top of the standard mechanical components, giving them more possible points of failure.

  • The typical cost to repair an appliance is around $175.

  • Smart appliance repair often reaches $350 or more.

  • Properly maintain your smart appliances to experience fewer damages and malfunctions.

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While the smart oven you bought was a great investment for checking in on your food and scheduling a preheat setting, you probably weren’t expecting a larger repair bill when it broke. Smart appliance repair bills usually cost more than a normal appliance. Why? It comes down to the fact that smart appliances rely on more electrical controls instead of mechanical controls. This means you’ll likely have to shell out for an appliance professional familiar with electrical work, not a handyperson, when your oven simply refuses to connect to your phone app.  

What Makes Smart Appliances Smart?

Most commonly, a standard appliance will get an IQ bump if it can connect to other Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices and allow you to control them remotely. Some smart fridges even allow you to control the rest of the home from a touch screen on the refrigerator door.

With a smartphone, you can turn off appliances as needed, check the preheat temperature setting (ovens and refrigerators), and run diagnostics regularly. However, these diagnostics won’t compete with hiring a local appliance repair technician.

How Do Smart Appliances Differ From Standard Appliances?

Smart appliances, beyond the ability for remote control and special features, utilize electrical components, such as computer chips, Wi-Fi chips, and internal connections, in addition to all mechanically operated components. (That’s why you can still use a smart refrigerator just like you would a standard refrigerator.)

These tiny chips and components send electrical signals throughout the appliance to determine what components to turn, open, or close. For instance, if you know it typically takes two cycles to dry your thick company towels, you can signal your dryer to alert you when it's time to start the cycle a second. This automated process is thanks to the advanced communication abilities of the dryer's digital, electronic, and mechanical portions. If just one part is out of wack, it’ll require significant diagnostic work to pinpoint the problem area.

Your typical, non-smart appliances, on the other hand, communicate in a much simpler way: mostly on mechanical inputs you signal when you press the “start” button.” While it does take away the convenience of simply tapping a few buttons on your phone from anywhere, there are fewer moving parts that could fail.

How Much Do Smart Appliance Repairs Cost?

Man repairing dishwasher
Photo: Alexander Borisenko/Adobe Stock

According to HomeAdvisor, it costs around $175 for standard appliance repair, while smart appliance repairs often cost upwards of $350. It doesn’t actually cost more to produce these smart chips and boards, but you pay for the increase in time required to complete these repairs. Appliance repair professionals will charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, so for every hour longer it takes to complete, you can expect to pay another $100 on average.

Though the cost of electronic components fluctuates, there are times when the parts needed for the electrical portion of the repair cost more than the mechanical portions. It’s always best to have an appliance repair company near you perform a check and receive a quote for accurate information.

How to Prolong the Life of Your Smart Appliances

5 tips for smart appliance maintenance, including checking filters on fridges, ovens, ranges, and dryers

There are a few tips you can use to extend the lifespan of your appliances, regardless of their smart capabilities. These include cleaning your machines regularly, replacing the correct filters, and not overloading your appliances. However, there are a few items that only smart appliances can use, such as running diagnostics or having alerts sent to you when something malfunctions.

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