For homes, water heaters are primarily used for generating warm showers or washing clothes in a warm cycle. This appliance provides homeowners with the security of having hot water for their day-to-day tasks. But besides that, high productivity water heaters also contribute to the conservation of energy and water and produce less air pollution.
Homeowners won’t have to run their water for too long just to wait for it to get warm. Plus, these appliances use less energy, leading to fewer greenhouse emissions. If your water heater is not giving you these perks, there’s a big chance that it’s not functioning efficiently. Continue reading to find out how to boost your water heater’s efficiency.
Repair the leaks
Among the most common causes of inefficient water heaters are leaks. Check if you have a slow leaky faucet and find out the cause. Most homeowners don’t respond to such problems immediately, thinking that a small leak won’t cause much damage. But did you know that you are wasting $1 a month for every second water drips from your leaky faucet?
If you don’t care about that dollar, just think about how much water you’re wasting every day. You’re wasting over 8 gallons of water from a leaky faucet that drips 60 times a minute. You can double the numbers if the problem is on your hot water tap. Hire your local plumber the moment you notice a leaky faucet in the house. They can also inspect your entire water heater system for other potential issues, helping you avoid more expensive issues.
Insulate your heater
If your water is not yet insulated, it’s time to do so. Installing insulation can help you cut down your heating costs by about 4% to 9% by minimizing the standby heating losses by 25% to 45%. Call on a local professional to get this done quickly and efficiently. Aside from the labor, you’ll only need to pay for the pre-cut insulation materials starting at $20.
You can get these materials at your local hardware shops, and most heaters can readily fit on them too. For additional benefits, you can also consider insulating your pipes. This can help boost the water temperature up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit and help the pipes retain more heat. Consult an expert plumber to check on the length of the accessible pipes and the types of materials you’ll need.
Turn down the thermostat
Did you know that you can save up to 3-5% on your bill for every 10 degrees you turn down your thermostat? The majority of the households lower their water heaters down to 120 degrees, which is already beneficial considering most of these appliances come preset at 140 degrees. Consider your needs and the mineral buildup in your pipes and tank to get the ideal numbers to set. Let’s say you are going for 120 degrees too.
The first thing you need to do is to measure the water’s temperature at the faucet using a thermometer. Don’t look at the thermostat as they’re usually inaccurate. Using the measurement, adjust your thermostat to 120 degrees and wait for about two hours. Then measure the temperature of the water again. If your thermostat does not have a numbered gauge, you can set it to medium or low marks and wait for a day to measure the water temperature.
Deal with the sediment
Flushing out the sediment from your water heater is another smart way to boost its efficiency. Letting sediment build up on the tank can increase energy consumption and, eventually, your bills too. It can create a barrier between your water heater’s heating elements and the water itself. That means your heater will have a hard time heating your showers, laundry, and dishwasher. On average, you should flush out your water once a year to get rid of the sediment and maintain the efficiency and lifespan of your water heater system.
If you have a gas heater, you need to set your thermostat first to pilot. Turn off the switch if you have an electric heater. You’d also need to turn off the cold water valve and wait for the water to cool. After that, connect a garden hose to the valve then you can start draining by turning on the drain valve.
By taking these simple steps, you can have a highly productive water heater that gives you hot water when you need it and even lowers your energy bills. If your water heater is still working efficiently after doing these steps, hire a professional to inspect it and confirm if it’s really beyond repair.