The water heater in your home likely works harder than any other appliance you own, but with all that hard work comes some serious energy consumption. In order to have your water heater running smoothly and cost effectively, there are several things you can do to help:
Consider the Age of Your Water Heater
The general lifespan of a water heater is between eight and 12 years, depending on several factors, such as the design, the capacity, if it was properly installed and how often it receives regular maintenance. If you have an older unit, it may be pulling more energy than necessary or it may have to work overtime due to excess sediment in the bottom of the tank. When there is excess sediment, the heater not only has to heat the water, but the sediment as well, causing it to work overtime. There are now some units which are energy efficient and can help to reduce the water heater bill by up to more than 10%.
Check for Any Leaks
If there are any small pools of water or it’s damp near the water heater, it may be signs of a leak. Contact your local plumber to inspect the water heater and you’ll know not only if your water heater is leaking, but where and how to best fix the problem. While the plumber is there, he can also clean and check it to make sure it’s working as it should, saving you money. A simple draining and cleaning of the tank yearly can help to extend its life and reduced the energy it takes to heat water for your home.
Consider the Capacity
Water heaters come in different tank sizes, and it’s important to make sure yours has the right capacity for your family size. If your tank is too small, it requires the tank to heat the water, refill it and heat it again, over and over. With a larger capacity water heater, it heats the tank once and allows for more than one person to shower, for example. As the water fills back up, it heats up the tank once again. In the case of sediment in the bottom of the tank, the heater is reheating this multiple times a day if it’s there, which is inefficient.
Any of these problems can be solved by hiring a plumber to come and service your tank yearly. Not only will it extend the life of your water heater, but it will result in reduced energy bills.