One of the most-used and common appliances in the home is the microwave. This appliance can last up to a decade, depending on its brand, how often it's used, and the general care the appliance is given. A microwave can be a stand-alone unit in the kitchen or be placed in its own special location above the stove for a more modern kitchen style.

Whether you spent a lot of money on a high-end or custom microwave or you have a basic model that you want to get the most out of, protecting your investment by having repairs done on your microwave when they're needed will allow your microwave to last longer. Here are signs your microwave needs repair. Microwave repair should only be done by a professional appliance repair specialist.

Your microwave makes loud sounds when cooking

Your microwave should make a slight humming sound when it's turned on, but should not rattle or make a loud razzing sound while it's in operation. Check your microwave to make sure the plate isn't off-center and ensure there are no items piled on top of your microwave that can be causing it to make strange sounds. If there is nothing amiss with your microwave, repairs may be necessary.

Your microwave takes forever to cook things

If your microwave needs more time to cook things than it used to or you have food come out burned on the edges yet frozen or cold in the middle, then you may need microwave repair. Check the appliance to make sure it's not trying to cook on defrost, and if the unit is set at the appropriate cooking settings but failing to operate as it should, then it's time to call an appliance specialist to fix the unit.

Your microwave is smoking or emitting sparks

If your microwave is emitting smoke or small sparks at all, even if there are no actual fires, then it's time to have microwave repair done. Check your unplugged unit for signs of metal or paper products inside the unit, but do not turn the microwave back on until you have had the unit inspected and repaired by an appliance specialist.

Your microwave is older

Is your microwave on the older end of your appliances, and you're not sure if it's time to just get a new one or have microwave repairs done? Minor repairs on your microwave can help it last longer and prolong your investment; your microwave specialist will let you know if repairs are necessary or if buying a new microwave is best for your money and kitchen.