You rely on your water heater each day. Whether you’re washing the dishes after cooking dinner or taking a shower before work, you require hot water. When you turn on the faucet and are greeted with a blast of freezing cold water, you know something is wrong. Many homeowners purchase a conventional water heater and forget about it after installation. The system is usually tucked away somewhere out of sight and out of mind, like the garage or a closet at the back of the house. But, if you forgo regular water heater maintenance and tune-ups, you’ll just be greeted with more cold water. Here is how to keep your water heater running efficiently through maintenance and care!
Flush Your Water Heater
Every single water heater should be flushed occasionally. It’s in the manufacturer’s instructions, too. Most manufacturers recommend flushing the water heater tank once per year. But, you cannot just drain the tank of all water. It’s not that simple. In many cases, you need to remove sediment buildup, too. Over the years, especially if you have hard water like we do in San Antonio, you’ll find your conventional water heater tank has a lot of sediment taking up space at the bottom. This sediment limits the amount of hot water you have access to.
If you’re uncomfortable with draining and flushing your water heater, you can schedule service with a plumber for the best results. Most plumbing services offer water heater maintenance, repair, and installation, so you can find one near you.
Turn Down the Water Temperature
Having hot water throughout your home is a necessity, but you likely don’t need the hot water heater set as high as you think. If you lower the temperature by just 10 degrees, you can save between 3 and 5 percent on your monthly energy bill. Furthermore, by lowering the temperature, your water heater doesn’t overwork itself.
Most water heaters are pre-set at 140 degrees. You can lower it to 120 degrees safely without any issues, and you’ll still enjoy hot water when you need it most.
Schedule Annual Hot Water Heater Inspections
Once per year, you should schedule a professional HVAC technician to inspect your water heater. During your annual appointment, the technician will locate any minor problems, addressing them then and there to prevent any costly repairs in the future. At the same time, once these issues are resolved, your system will operate more efficiently. You can save money each month and extend the lifespan of your hot water heater.
Insulate the Water Heater
If your hot water heater is located somewhere cool where the heating system does not reach, you may wish to insulate the water heater tank. Thankfully, this is a step you only have to complete once. You can wrap the water heater in insulation, improving its efficiency up to 40 percent.