Five Tips for Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Water Heater

Five Tips for Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Water Heater

Your heating and air conditioning system is your largest energy consumer. Your home's water heater is your second highest energy consumer. Every other system in your home falls a considerable distance behind these two energy eaters.

Homeowners can reduce their energy consumption and costs by making a few changes in the way in which they use their water heaters. In this article, we will discuss five tips to help you reduce your water heater's energy consumption and costs:

1) Perform Regular Water Heater Maintenance

There is nothing like stepping into a shower that is spraying you with cold water. Like any system in your home, water heaters require regular maintenance to perform well. Maintaining your water heater is key to making sure you have warm water when you need it.

One of the key components of water heater maintenance is flushing the tank. A water heater’s tank will gather sediment and debris, causing your unit to use more energy to heat the water. To flush your water heater, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Turn off electrical power to your water heater.
  2. Step 2: If there is no floor drain present, attach a garden hose to your water heater’s tank faucet. Place the other end of the hose in a five-gallon bucket.
  3. Step 3: Open the faucet and allow water to drain from the tank into the bucket.
  4. Step 4: Check your bucket to determine if there is an excess amount of sediment.
  5. Step 5: If there is excess sediment, allow the tank to refill and drain it again.
  6. Step 6: Restore power to your unit. Allow the water to warm before using hot water.

In addition to flushing your system twice per year, homeowners should check the unit’s sacrificial anode rod to determine if the tank is in danger of rusting. Routinely examine the area around your water heater for evidence of leaks.

For more information regarding water heater maintenance and repair, contact us. If you do find a leak, or other damage to components of your unit, it is important to act quickly to minimize damage and repair expenses.

2) Make Sure You Water Heater Thermostat is Set to 120

One common water heater error is setting the thermostat above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Raising the temperature above 120 will consume more energy and threaten the lifespan of your water heater.

3) Insulate Hot Water Storage Tank and Exposed Pipes

Traditional tank-style water heaters suffer from considerable amounts of heat loss. Heat loss occurs when water is heated, but cools again due to delayed usage. Insulated blankets designed for storage tanks can reduce heat loss by up to 40%. Additionally, insulating exposed water pipes will reduce heat loss further. However, it is important to use only designated water heater insulated blankets and designated pipe insulation.

4) Make Sure Your Water Heater is in the Right Location

If your water heater is in an especially cold location in your home, such as a basement or garage, it may require more energy for it to heat water. If your water heater is located in your attic, it is susceptible to do significant water damage if it fails. Contact a professional plumber to have your water heater moved to a more advantageous location in your home.

5) Replace Your Aging Water Heater

Properly maintained traditional, tank-style water heaters generally last between eight to twelve years. Tankless water heaters may last as long as twenty-five years. Though it is tempting to squeeze every bit of life out of your water heater, if has aged beyond its years and showing signs of wear, contact a professional plumber. It is better to replace your water heater before it fails catastrophically.

For more information about how to maximize your water heater’s efficiency, contact us. We will help you assess whether it is time to have your water heater repaired or replaced as well.