Fix Plumbing Leaks

How to Improve Your Water Heater’s Efficiency: A 5-Step Guide?

Did you know that just heating your water makes up more than 20% of the total cost of energy for your home? Heating water uses more energy than almost anything else you can do at home, except maybe heating and cooling your whole house. If your water heater’s efficiency is less than fantastic, the hefty prices you already face will hit you even harder than they would have otherwise.

Improve Your Water Heater’s Efficiency

Water heaters that are not energy efficient do not operate as well as they could and cause you to spend more money on a monthly basis. It’s a no-win situation that has the potential to become much more dire over time. The efficiency of your water heater may be improved by a number of tried and tested techniques, which is fortunate. Here are five easy DIY projects that can improve the efficiency of your water heater and save you money in the process.

Step 1: Drain Water Heater Sediment

Drain Water Heater Sediment

Magnesium and calcium are just two examples of the minerals that could potentially build up in the tank of your water heater over the course of its lifetime. These minerals will eventually settle to the bottom of the tank, where they will bind together to form silt. This process will take some time. Because of the silt that has settled at the bottom of your tank, the system may have to work harder than it needs to in order to heat the water, which is an inefficient use of its resources. Over time, the extra work will cause the pressure inside the tank to rise, which could cause it to overheat or even break. This will occur as a direct result of the increased pressure. If you have hard water, you should totally drain the tank of your water heater and rinse it clean with cold water at least once a year and maybe up to three times a year. Doing so will guarantee that the efficiency of your water heater is at its highest possible level.

When sediments are removed, your heater will run much more effectively, and you will avoid the more costly repairs that can come as a result of the buildup that sediments can cause. This is because sediment can cause buildup. You should be able to perform the task of flushing your water heater on your own if you are in possession of the appropriate tools. This errand is rather uncomplicated. You also have the option of contacting a trained expert to do this task as part of a larger maintenance appointment for your water heater. This would fall under the broader category of preventative maintenance.

Step 2: Insulate water pipes

Insulate water pipes

Pipes and the water tank are particularly poor places to store heat. While this is to be expected, it also reduces the water heater’s performance. You’ll have to heat more water to make up for the heat that escapes through the pipes. The more water you need to heat, the longer and harder your water heater must run, and the more electricity you must pay to keep it running. They are more expensive initially but pay for themselves in the long run, especially if someone in your household likes to take long, hot showers. That adds to the cost of your monthly electricity bill. Pipe insulation reduces heat loss and improves efficiency.

Insulating your pipes will keep the heat inside the structure, where it belongs. Insulated water pipes hold heat longer and can even raise the temperature of the water by 2-4 °F on their own. Insulating your plumbing for cold water is another option.

If you do your homework, insulating your pipes and water heater is a simple task. To insulate your pipes, select an insulation material, and get started, you only need the scissors, tape measure, duct tape, and gloves you already have lying around the house.

Step 3: Use Low Flow Fixtures

Use Low Flow Fixtures

Installing plumbing fixtures that use less water is another easy way to save money over time with little work up front. When you install low-flow fixtures in your home, the amount of hot water that is wasted through the taps and showers is significantly reduced.

If you want to save the most money on your utility bills, you should install low-flow fixtures such as shower heads, faucets, and toilets. 

Step 4: Set your Water Heater to 120 Degrees Fahrenheit

Water Heater to 120 Degrees

Water heaters come with thermostats by default, but many homeowners don’t know this. When the temperature in the tank drops below the set point, the thermostat kicks in to bring the temperature back up. Heating water to higher temperatures requires more time and energy from your system. In the event that your hot water heats up too quickly or seems dangerously hot, you may need to adjust the thermostat on your water heater. Keeping your water at a lower temperature can help keep it safe and reduce your water bill.

Water heaters have a default setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and this is the norm across most brands. It’s not safe to wash or bathe in water that’s over 120 degrees anyway. Though professionals agree that a temperature of less than 120 degrees increases the likelihood of bacteria growth in the settled tank water, you should never set your water heater temperature lower than that. Here are the steps you need to take to reduce your water heater’s temperature by hand and save 3-5% per year on your water bill.

Step 5: Repair any plumbing leaks.

It’s not as uncommon as you might think for a plumbing fixture to spring a leak. Also, they have a much bigger impact on your house than you probably realize. A leaky faucet can waste 1,661 gallons of water per year, which amounts to $35 in wasted water bills. There is a correlation between all that leaking and your water heater breaking down. If there is a leak in your pipes, your water heater will have to work harder to keep up with demand. It’s running for longer, which means it’s consuming more power. An obvious sign of a plumbing leak is an ever-present roar from the water heater, which must work overtime to make up for the lost heat. So, how can you find leaks before they waste all your water and your money?

Leaks in your water heater usually begin within the unit itself. Examine the area immediately surrounding the water heater’s tank for signs of leaking. The drain valve and the temperature-pressure relief valve are likely culprits. The pressure-relief valve could be leaking because it was made wrong or because it was designed to let pressure out when needed. The actual water lines, particularly those that are close to things like sinks and showers, should be inspected. Never assume a leak is “too small” to bother fixing. Call a plumber in your area if you suspect a leak in your plumbing system or need any repairs done.

Practice Regular Water Heater Maintenance

When there is (apparently) nothing wrong with your water heater, it is easy to forget about it. Make sure your heater is as effective and well-maintained as possible, even if there are no leaks or other obvious problems. The immediate cost savings from this measure will be offset in part by the longer service life of your water heater.

Call the plumbers at Mike Diamond right away if you want to replace or repair your water heater, or if you just want to make sure it’s functioning properly. As usual, we’re eager to go the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction with our services and help you save money in the process.  

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