Water Heater Maintenance Tips That Save Energy, Extend Equipment Life

Water Heater Maintenance Tips That Save Energy, Extend Equipment LifeSupplying your home with hot water is your second-largest energy expense, and can account for up to 18 percent of your utility bills. The following water heater maintenance tips will help you reduce your energy consumption and costs, and extend the service life of this essential appliance.

  • Keep the tank clean. Water contains minerals and sediment that deposit at the bottom of your heater’s tank, which hinders heat transfer, and makes the unit work harder. To decrease the amount of build up, drain off a quart of water every three months, and drain and flush the tank completely once a year.

  • Replace the anode rod. Every tank-style water heater has a magnesium or aluminum/zinc anode rod to attract corrosive elements in the water and protect the tank. During your annual cleaning, check the anode rod and replace it when it’s badly corroded.

  • Lower the temperature setting. The default setting on many water heaters is 140 degrees, and you should reduce this to 120 degrees. Not only will every 10-degree drop in temperature save you five percent on your monthly utility bills, a lower temperature can also extend the life of an electric unit. Water hotter than 120 degrees is more acidic, and will corrode the heater’s electrodes.

  • Wrap the hot water pipes. By insulating the first six feet of piping attached to your heater, you’ll reduce heat loss. Self-sealing foam insulation is inexpensive and easy to install, but if your piping is situated six inches or closer to your gas unit’s flue, opt for unfaced fiberglass instead.

  • Wrap the storage tank. Adding an insulated jacket to an older tank can cut your water heating costs by up to nine percent. With an electric model, cover the top of the tank as well as the sides, but leave access to the thermostats. If you have a gas model, don’t wrap the top, or the burner compartment and thermostat access.

To learn more water heater maintenance tips to reduce the energy expenses in your Bloomfield Hills or Oxford home, contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We’ve served Southeast Michigan homeowners since 1945.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water heater maintenance tips and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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