Who doesn’t love a hot, comforting shower? There’s nothing quite so rewarding after a tough workout or at the end of a cold winter’s day. However, we’ve all had that unpleasant experience of the hot, soothing shower turning suddenly, unforgivably cold… brrr! Luckily, as a homeowner, you can take a few steps to help prevent water heater issues, improve your unit’s efficiency and even increase its lifespan. Here are a few of our top water heater tips:
Keep Your Water Heater Free of Clutter
For many homeowners, your water heater is in the basement… a place that is often a dumping ground for holiday decorations, old furniture, boxes and all the other stuff you don’t have any space for. However, if you have a gas-powered water heater, it needs a steady supply of oxygen. Smothering your water heater can decrease its efficiency.
Invest in Low-Flow Shower Heads
For a small price, you can install low-flow shower heads to greatly reduce the amount of hot water you use on a daily basis. With some of the newer models, you can actually cut your water usage in half! Plus, the design is so advanced that you won’t even feel much of a difference (if any).
Use Your Temperature Setting
Many homeowners never even think to adjust their water heater’s settings. Most water heaters come preset to 140ºF. Yet, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 120ºF. Lowering the temperature is safer and more cost effective. Additionally, if you’re going on vacation for a week or more, it’s good idea to switch off your water heater altogether during the time you’re away.
Schedule an Annual Flush and Fill Service
Did you know that sediment can form in your water heater’s tank? This can hinder your water heater’s performance and damage the heating element. In fact, in order to honor your warranty, most manufacturers require that you drain and flush your water heater’s tank every 12 months. This flush and fill service can be performed quickly and safely by a plumbing professional and can go a long way toward ensuring a reliable hot water supply.
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
Did you know that most traditional water heaters are built to last approximately eight years? If you’re stretching yours past its prime, be vigilant about addressing any warning signs your water heater may be giving you. Keep an eye out for leaks, strange noises, charred metal or corrosion spots (especially near the pipes and valves). These are just a few signs that it may be time to start shopping for a new unit. If your water heater is on its last legs, it could be costing you in efficiency – and safety.