Water heaters are a necessity in every home, especially during harsh Minnesota winters. It is important that you take proper care of your water heater. This can help lower your electricity bill, improve the lifespan of your water heater, and make cold weather a little more bearable.
Here are some tips on how to take care of your water heater:
Lower the Thermostat
Manufacturers usually set the thermostat to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is not energy efficient and will cause corrosion and mineral buildup due to scalding in the tank and pipes. Lower the temperature to 120 degrees, which will cut your electricity bill by 10%. In other words, you can cut up to 5% of the cost of your bill by reducing 10 degrees. Be sure to turn off the heater if you’re not going to be home.
Insulate the Tank and Pipes
Insulating the storage tank by buying an insulating jacket will prove to be a great investment in the long run. Foam insulation for pipes is easily available at hardware stores. Use 1-inch thick fiberglass pipe wraps for pipes that are closer to the heater and will receive the highest temperature of the water.
Insulation helps in retaining heat and it will make your heater’s job considerably easier. This will also lower your electricity bill by reducing energy needs.
Install a Water Softener
A water softener helps filter any mineral debris that might clog the pipes or settle in the tank. This is especially useful if your water supply is higher in mineral content, this is called hard water. Hard water can cause the scale to build up in your appliances. The most common minerals present in hard water are calcium and magnesium, which will harden at higher temperatures.
Installing a water softener will improve the lifespan of your water heater and pipes.
Replacing the Anode Rod
The anode rod is placed in a water heater to remove any corrosive minerals from the water supply. This protects the inside of the water heater from rust. The anode rod can be worn down after a few years and will eventually corrode completely. It might be time to check if your anode rod needs to be replaced by a professional. This simple repair work can greatly improve the health of your heater.
If you are unsure of how to do this, call your local plumber at Air Mechanical, Inc.
Flushing the Tank
Flush your water tank by repeatedly letting in cold water and then emptying it. This will get rid of any dirt, debris, or buildup. Your tank should be flushed every year. If the water is coming out brown, call your local plumber, you might need a full cleaning of the tank.
Regular Maintenance Checks
Lastly, remember to schedule an annual maintenance check by a professional. Annual checks help identify early signs of trouble including leaks, damage, components that needs replacement, etc. Even minor leaks and loose joints can cause a major catastrophe! Parts of your pipes or other fixtures might need replacement. Call your local plumber if you notice any leak or damage.