Your range is a wonderful and complicated thing that helps you put dinner on the table. And even though it may see like a complicated heat box machine, it's actually pretty simple to repair.
The ceramic top has a crack? No big deal! A new one can be popped into place (just don't cook on it until then, as it could further shatter or lead to some electric shocks!). The oven seems to be giving off a lot of heat? You might just need a new gasket. Is the control panel being wonky? That's probably an easy fix, too. You can even get a new thermostat or heating element if the oven isn't heating up as fast or evenly as it used to.
If you're feeling particularly handy, you can even do a lot of these little fixes yourself (hello, YouTube!), or you can get a certified repair expert out to your house.
The point is: Ranges are almost always worth a fix — there's just this one time when they're not.
Do you need a new range? Follow this rule.
"If repairs add up to more than 50 percent of the cost of a new unit, it might be time to consider a new unit," says Manny Ortega, a repair shop owner in Albuquerque, NM, and a board member of the United Servicers Association. "Of course some customers just love the product so much, they are willing to spend more for the repairs."
How much do new ranges cost, though? You can get a good-but-less-expensive one for around $400. Which means, if you're looking at a $200 repair bill and your range is 10 years old (and not under warranty), it might be worth it to bite the bullet and get an entirely new unit. If your high-end range was more than a thousand bucks, however, a $200 repair might not seem as bad.
It's also worth noting that repair costs can vary based on location, the company you're working with, the brand of your range, and a few other factors, so it's always worth a few phone calls before you kick your range to the curb.
Has your oven needed any repairs recently? What happened, and what did you do?