You may not realize that hot water heating is the third biggest energy drain in your home. There are ways to increase your water heater’s efficiency, though, and extend its service life. The following water heater maintenance tips can also help lower your energy consumption, and save you money.
#1. Flush the tank annually.
Over time, the sediment and minerals present in water build up at the bottom of your tank. This makes the appliance work harder at its job, which means higher energy consumption. By flushing out these deposits once a year, you’ll ensure that it operates efficiently.
#2. Check the anode rod.
Your water heater is equipped with a sacrificial anode rod that should be checked yearly, and the perfect time to do so is when you’re cleaning the tank. The anode rod is designed to corrode instead of the metal tank, and if it’s not replaced as needed, your water heater can rust through and fail prematurely.
#3. Reduce the thermostat setting to 120 degrees.
This is especially important if you have an electric water heater, because temperatures above 120 degrees cause excessive water scaling and acidity. This can shorten the appliance’s life by corroding the electrodes. You’ll also save money because every 10-degree temperature drop can reduce your energy bills by five percent.
#4. Insulate your hot water pipes.
Install self-sticking foam pipe insulation that’s the same diameter as the hot water piping that exits your water heater to reduce heat loss. If you have a gas unit and the piping runs within six inches of the flue, add a layer of inch-thick fiberglass pipe wrap on top of the insulation to protect it.
#5. Insulate the tank.
If you have an older water heater, you’ll reduce standby heat loss by up to 45 percent by wrapping it in an insulated blanket. New units already have this extra insulation built in.
For more energy-saving water heater maintenance tips to implement in your Los Angeles or Ventura County home, contact us at Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. We’ve been assisting area homeowners since 1967.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heater maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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