For most people, hot water is precious. From bathing to laundry to doing the dishes, hot water keeps us clean and healthy. However, it just never seems like there’s enough to go around. While your hot water heater does its job, there are always ways to make it more efficient to stretch the warmth a little longer. Another benefit is reducing your energy bill. Who doesn’t love saving money?
As hot water leaves your heater and travels to your faucet or shower head, it will inevitably lose a little of its heat on the way. Taking the time to properly insulate your pipes keeps heat contained and ensures the water reaches you at the appropriate temperature.
Insulating pipes is a simple as going to your local plumbing supply or hardware store and picking up some foam insulator. Simply cut to size and place around any pipes you can easily access. This is a great project to do with kids or those just learning about home maintenance.
Many hot water heaters come with a factory preset of around 140 degrees. However, most homes don’t require more than 120 degrees. While it may not seem like a huge job, lowering your hot water heater’s temperature by just 20 degrees is a great way to save energy and keep your bills a little lower.
To do this, locate your hot water heater’s thermostat and note the temperature. Turn it down to your desired settings and wait a few hours. Come back to the heater and take a new reading. If the temperature is lower, it’s working. Don’t worry, lowering the tank’s temperature shouldn’t be noticeable when you’re taking that nice long bath later.
Over time, sediment can build up in your hot water heater. This causes your heater to compensate and work harder. Not only can sediment and hard water deposits decrease your heater’s efficiency, this build-up can also decrease its overall capacity.
Draining your hot water heater is pretty simple. Near the bottom the tank, you’ll notice a valve like you’d see on a garden hose connection. Using a larger bucket, open the valve and drain some of the water. The water may be murky or brown, but don’t panic. Do this every 4 to 6 months to ensure your hot water heater works most efficiently.
Whether you have questions about your current heater or you’re looking for a new one, Terry’s Plumbing has you covered. Explore our hot water heaters and services to get started.