New Homeowners: What to Do When an Appliance Breaks


    It’s a great feeling to be settled into your new home until the unavoidable happens — your first appliance or heating and cooling system breaks. No matter if it’s your refrigerator or furnace, the honeymoon period in your new abode may be over. But it’s OK, because sometimes unexpected things happen. Whether it’s a big problem with a major system or a small repair to an appliance, here are steps to help get things running again.

    Stay Calm

    When your appliance or system breaks down in your new home, don’t panic. Make sure to rule out any obvious reasons. Is it a blown fuse or a cord that came unplugged? Are you getting power to the appliance? Is there a main safety switch that is in the “off” position?

    If you’ve recently had work done in another area of your home, certain electrical or plumbing components may have been turned off for safety reasons. You may be able to simply flip a switch and get things running again.

    When It’s Time to Call a Professional

    If your appliance still isn’t working. It might be time to call in a professional.

    Before you find a professional on your own, it’s important to do your homework. First, check to see if your new home came with a home warranty. A home warranty is a service contract to help repair or replace certain systems or appliances in a home. You should be able to look at your original sales contract to see if the sale included a warranty and the name of the company. You can contact the warranty company and find out what sort of coverage came with your home.

    When searching online for qualified professionals, read user reviews. There are many great online resources for customer reviews, which may help with your decision. Then, confirm anyone coming into your home for repair work is licensed and insured.

    Lastly, trust your instincts. If you call to make an appointment and you don’t feel comfortable, consider moving on to someone else. And don’t forget word of mouth — find out who your neighbor used for a similar job and if they were pleased with the service.

    Appliances can go on the fritz at any time. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for the unexpected so you can get back to enjoying your new home.

    American Home Shield, the nation’s leader in home warranties, provides affordable protection for major systems and appliances to more than 1.4 million homeowners across the country.