Water Heaters Use Lots of Energy
Your water heater is the plumbing appliance that uses the most energy in your home. In fact, on average it can use 18% of your home’s energy. That a lot! Following proper water heater maintenance steps just makes sense.
After all, doesn’t everyone want to have a lower energy bill? And keep their water heater working longer?
So, you may be asking…”What are the steps I should take to maintain my water heater?”
Let’s take a look at four simple ways you can keep your water heater functioning optimally. And you’ll save a few dollars at the same time.
Simple Maintenance Steps for your Water Heater
Don’t set the water heater too high. A setting of 115F will provide ample hot water in most homes. In Texas, our pipes are usually not cold enough to significantly cool the water down as it travels to the faucet. So, a lower temperature setting still provides plenty of hot water. The exception…you may need in make the temperature setting higher during the coldest 2-3 months.
Water Heater Flush
Flushing your water heater at least twice a year is the second step in proper water heater maintenance. This removes the sediment that can build up in the bottom of the tank. This sediment prevents the element from heating the water efficiently. A sediment free tank allows the energy from the element to transfer to the water more quickly.
The greatest unnecessary expense in running the water heater is heat loss. Water is heated only to sit and cool down while it is unused. It also looses heat once it leaves the tank and travels through the plumbing pipes.
You can prevent a lot of energy loss by insulating the water pipe that carries the hot water away from the unit. Also, an insulation blanket placed over the water heater tank will help the unit to maintain its temperature longer, increasing the time span between how often the unit has to turn on and reheat the water.
Another great way to prevent energy loss from your water heater is by using a timer. Installing a timer on your water heater allows you to control when the water heater keeps water at temperature. With a timer you can turn the unit off at night when no one is using hot water. This is similar to having your AC/heater on a programmable thermostat and adjusting the temperature while you are away from the house.
Water heater timers vary in sophistication from simple on-off dials to Bluetooth programmable. Some models can be plugged into the wall outlet your unit already uses; others will need to be installed by connecting them directly to the wires of the water heater. Simply choose the model that best fits your budget and lifestyle.