The water heater is typically one of the largest uses of energy in a home. Making sure that yours is in good condition is a great way to cut down on your monthly energy expenses. Additionally, a well maintained water heater lasts longer, which cuts down on the cost, time, and stress of having your water heater replaced. Here are some key tips for getting the most out of your water heater.
Install a Water Softener
When water has a high concentration of dissolved minerals, it’s called hard water. And hard water is hard on your water heater. When your water heater heats up the water, it dissolves these minerals. But once the water cools down, the minerals become crystallized again and are hard on the heater. They’re also hard on other pipes, plumbing, and appliances, which leads to clogs. A water softener can get rid of hard water and prevent these issues from occurring.
Flush the Water Heater Annually
By flushing your water heater, you can get rid of mineral deposits and anything else that’s trapped inside. This should be done every year to prevent damage and keep the water heater in optimal condition. Before flushing an electric water heater, it is very important to shut off the heat source. For gas heaters, the pilot must be put on the lowest setting. An HVAC contractor can help to safely adjust the power source. Then you need to attach a hose to the drain valve and allow the water to drain into a large bucket.
Install an Expansion Tank
Like most substances, water expands when it’s heated. This heating also causes an increase in pressure. An expansion tank prevents the water pressure from getting to dangerous levels, which keeps the water heater efficient and functioning properly. When water pressure reaches dangerous levels, it can damage the plumbing, including pipes, valves, fixtures, joints, and much more.
Replace the Anode Rod
These rods are one of the most important components in a typical water heater. The anode rod prevents corrosion of the water tank’s walls by directing this corrosion towards itself. In the process of keeping your water tank safe, the anode rod takes a beating. For this reason, they should usually be replaced every few years. Failing to replace these rods puts unnecessary stress on your water heater, which increases efficiency, decreases your water bills, and reduces the likelihood of expensive repairs or replacements.
Turn the Thermostat Down
Many people have their water heaters set too high. This forces the water heater to work harder than it needs to, which decreases the lifespan of the unit. When the thermostat is too high, it also leads to higher bills each month and can even cause scalding. The solution is to turn down the thermostat on your water heater’s tank. A reduction of ten degrees will usually produce a 5% increase in efficiency.
By following these simple tips, you can get the most out of your water heater. This will save you time and money on bills, repairs, and replacements both in the short-term and in the long-term.