Rose-Coloured Glasses: Were Old Appliances Actually Built Better?

Rose-Coloured Glasses: Were Old Appliances Actually Built Better?

Rose-Coloured Glasses: Were Old Appliances Actually Built Better?

They don’t build them like they used to” is something you’ve likely heard from your elders at some point, and a lot of the time they are referring to domestic appliances in particular. Well, who is ‘they’ and why aren’t they building ‘them’ like they used to? Is there any truth to this claim, or is it one of those sayings that’s tinted by rose-coloured glasses of nostalgia for the past?

There is some truth to this claim; domestic appliances of today are often inferior in many ways to those of decades past. In some other ways, however, modern appliances can be better than older ones. The reasons why must be qualified, so let’s take a look at some of those reasons:

Quality of Manufacture

It’s quite common nowadays to find extended warranty options for new domestic appliances, and these should be strongly considered simply due to the prevalence of faulty and defective models on the market. Your standard warranty (e.g. 1-year warranty) might cover you for any problems you find within that crucial first year, but keep in mind that many new domestic appliances can be expected to fail within the first few years.

It’s a conspiracy theory that’s now widely accepted as conspiracy fact that manufacturers purposely design appliances to fail rather quickly so that customers can come back and buy a brand new model. Is it sustainable? Ethical? Moral? Most would say “absolutely not,” but nevertheless this design philosophy prevails.

You may have heard an aunt or your grandmother using an old refrigerator for decade after decade, but can you say the same about newer models? Probably not, and appliance manufacturers know this. Older appliances tended to be made of sturdy materials like steel, cast iron, or aluminium, whereas newer appliances tend to be made with much cheaper plastics and proprietary parts (part of planned obsolescence) that seem impossible to get a replacement for.

Safety: Always a Concern

When it comes to safety, all modern domestic appliances must be safe to use if the manufacturer wants to sell them in Australia (or in many other countries where robust consumer laws exist). There are – and perhaps will always be – some safety concerns with modern appliances that can pop up, such as improper usage.

Older appliances, however, often posed safety concerns in homes. Well, to be more accurate, some appliances were outright hazardous or potentially lethal. Some of the oldest home refrigerators kept food and beverages cold with refrigerants including sulphur dioxide and methyl formate. These substances could be hazardous, potentially leading to caustic burns, blindness, corrosion, and other serious effects.

In brief, older domestic appliances often tend to be less safe than newer models.

You (Sometimes) Get What You Pay for

“You get what you pay for” is often repeated for many consumer goods, including domestic appliances. In this regard, there may be at times some rose-coloured glasses since old appliances tended to be quite expensive using today’s dollar value, but in retrospect may have seemed more affordable.

What is certain is that today, there is huge variation in prices and quality for all appliances, which sometimes correlate strongly with one another. If you spend $2,000 for a new refrigerator, for example, it may be of exceptional quality (especially when compared to a $500 model, for example) – but not always! Read consumer reports and online reviews and shop carefully.

One of the best ways to save more of your hard-earned dollars and to reduce excessive waste is to keep your appliances well-maintained and to have them repaired once they’re out of warranty.

Domestic Appliance Repair

Keep your appliances running longer and more reliably with services from Domestic Appliance Repair.

Brands & Suburbs We Regularly Service

Bentleigh | Blackburn | Carnegie | Dandenong | Cranbourne | Heatherton | Moorabbin | Asko | Blanco | Bosch | Chef | Dishlex | Fisher Paykel | Abbotsford | Brighton | Cheltenham | Richmond | Windsor | Doncaster | Newport | Windsor | Frankston| Werribee | Ilve| LG | Lofra | Miele | Smeg | St – George | Technika | Westinghouse | Eastern Suburbs | Northern Suburbs | Western Suburbs

By | 2024-01-10T05:28:31+00:00 July 22nd, 2022|Blog|0 Comments