Water heating is the second largest energy expense in most homes. To save money, make sure your water heater is set properly, operating efficiently and in good condition. Maintaining your water heater will also save you money by extending its life. After all, most homeowners would rather spend their money on something other than a new water heater. Here are a few tips to help keep your unit functioning properly for years to come.
Safety first! Some people are comfortable performing their own maintenance, and others are not. If you fall into the latter category, schedule an appointment with a qualified service technician. Before you begin. If you choose to perform your own maintenance, do so with safety in mind. Locate your breaker box and turn off power to your water heater. You should also wear gloves to protect your hands from hot water.
Keep it clean. A simple way to maintain your water heater is keeping the area around it clean. You should keep two feet of clearance around your water heater. As a safety measure, never store any combustible materials near it.
Set your thermostat. Keep your water heater’s thermostat set at 120 degrees. Not only will this help you save on energy costs, but it will also reduce the risk of scalding.
Inspect top to bottom. Start at the top and check the entire unit carefully for signs of leaks or corrosion. Look closely because leaks can be tiny. If you detect heavy rust or leaks, it may be time to consider a new,
energy efficient water heater.
Insulate the first few feet of pipe. By insulating the water heater pipe, water will arrive at your faucet 2 to 4 degrees warmer, and you won’t have to wait as long for the water to heat up.
Insulate your tank. If you own an older tank, consider wrapping it in an insulating blanket that can reduce heat loss and save 4 to 9 percent on the average water heating bill. This especially holds true if your tank is in an unheated space. But, on an electric water heater, make sure the blanket does not block the thermostat. 12842002
Drain your tank. Sediment and debris can accumulate in the tank of your water heater. To keep it clean, drain it a few times every year. Draining the tank is easy. First, turn off the power to your water heater at the main breaker box. Then, turn off the cold water supply coming into the unit. After that, attach an ordinary garden hose to the drain valve and let the water drain into a bucket until the water is clear. If the water doesn’t run clear, you can open the water supply valve to stir the tank, then drain again. Be sure the tank is full before you turn the power back on – failing to do so could short out the heating elements.
For more information, contact the energy experts at WFEC. We value your membership. We value you.