If you have a forced-air HVAC system and a gas-fired water heater in your Peachtree City home, you may not realize that they’re closely related. Both of these appliances are essential to your family’s daily comfort, and they’re also the two major energy consumers that affect your household utility bills.
What this means is that regular HVAC and water heater maintenance are both vital if you want have a truly energy efficient, comfortable home.
Water Heater Maintenance 101
As an energy-savvy homeowner, you probably already schedule HVAC maintenance on a semi-annual basis so your equipment operates at optimal efficiency. Establishing a corresponding care regimen for the water heater is an easy way to enjoy a reliable hot water supply, prolong the appliance’s lifespan, and prevent energy waste too.
To keep your water heater well-maintained, you should take these steps:
Test the T&P valve’s functionality.
This critical safety feature is in place to let excess heat/pressure escape so the tank doesn’t rupture or explode. If the valve is leaking or seized up, and water doesn’t drain out through its overflow tube when the lever is tested, it should be replaced.
Check the anode rod.
Every time you turn on a hot water fixture or an appliance that uses hot water in your home, your water heater goes to work. It also works a lot in between uses maintaining the thermostat temperature. All that work and energy usage can really add up quickly in higher water heating bills.
The secret to lowering your water heating bill is to combine conservation efforts and more efficient water heating. Here are some great tips to help!
Turn Back Hot Water Temperature
Turning back your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees is safer to use by preventing scalding and it saves energy. After you’ve turned back the thermostat a notch, use a thermometer to measure hot water temperature from the most distant fixture. You’ll need to wait a few hours in between adjustments.
Clean Your Water Heater
Debris and deposits inside your water heater make it work harder, use more energy, contaminate water and can cause your water heater to breakdown or fail early. You’ve got a lot to gain in addition to energy savings by flushing your water heater.
The tankless water heater has been around for a good while now — long enough for most plumbing companies to have formed some realistic views about the pros and cons of this technology. If you’ve heard some buzz about tankless and you’re thinking that might be the way to go in your home, you may want to read the following assessment before you buy.
What Is Tankless Technology?
Tankless water heaters are the opposite of storage water heaters. Just as the name suggests, there’s no tank and no storage; the water is heated by an electric element or a gas burner, and is delivered continuously, although the flow rate may be limited. Gas-powered types provide higher flow rates than electric ones.
Pros and Cons
While hot water on demand sounds enticing, be aware that even the largest model won’t supply enough hot water for large households when the demand includes multiple, simultaneous uses.
Homeowners should plan on installing more than one of these tankless models to meet the higher demand. It may also be necessary to install additional units for appliances, such as a dishwasher or a clothes washer.
Replacing your storage tank water heater with an on-demand or tankless unit can help you save energy, but before you make the switch, you need to understand key differences between these two water heating methods. First, consider how they work:
Tank-style water heaters can keep 40–80 gallons of water hot and ready for use, so you can use the shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink and washing machine all at once. When the tank is depleted, though, it can take an hour or more to replenish the supply. Tankless water heaters begin heating water when you turn on the hot water at a faucet or appliance. An on-demand unit won’t run out of hot water, but it can’t supply more than one–two fixtures at once. Do You Need One or Multiple Water Heaters?
If you’re used to a storage tank water heater that supplies 7.5–9.5 gallons per minute (gpm) of hot water, a single on-demand unit that supplies just 2.5–5 gpm may not be sufficient. To help you decide how many water heaters your home needs, get professional advice and consider the following factors:
If you heat water with a gas or electric powered storage-tank water heater, once thing you can be sure of – eventually it’s going to fail. You’ll likely be looking for a new water heater in 10 years. And the fact that a failing water heater can create quite a mess and damage your home makes it all the more important to know the main signs of a failing water heater.
Signs You Need a New Water Heater
Age — If you’re not sure of your water heater’s age, there’s a way to find out. Find the serial number, and it will contain the date of manufacture. For example, if the serial number is B041063478, pay attention to the first letter and first two numbers (B04). B is the second letter of the alphabet, representing the second month of the year (February). The two numbers represent the year. In this case, the water heater was manufactured in February 2004, and probably is past time for replacement. With a water heater close to the end of its service life, either replace it before it fails, or monitor it closely so you can replace it before it damages your home.