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Repair or replace? Is it worth repairing an old device from a consumer perspective?

Schick, Peter; Morys, Michael; Neisser, Axel; Schwan, Gunnar

FG Transdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitsforschung in der Elektronik

When household appliances break down users have to make a decision. Is it better to repair the existing device or to replace it by a new one? Our studies show that we can support the decision with the help of life cycle assessments, cost balances and other data obtained from surveys (e.g. prices, repair frequency). We focused on following product groups: fully automatic coffee machines, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and dishwashers. Specific conclusions have been drawn for each product group to help consumers make their choice and how to analyse further product groups. Three steps towards longer service lifetimes are proposed.