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How To Make The Most Of Your Water Heater This Winter

Your water heater works twice as hard to make sure you’re comfortable in winter whenever you use water for bathing or other purposes. 

The temperature of the water entering your heater is colder, and it has to be increased to keep you warm throughout the day. 

Since you need higher temperatures for showering, it’s time you took proper care of your water heater so that it performs at optimal levels during winter. 

If you don’t maintain your water heater properly, you might have to pay a hefty price. The worst part would be missing out on your hot water supply for an indefinite period during winter. 

Luckily, trying out these valuable tips can ensure the superior performance of your water heater. 

How To Ensure The Efficiency Of Your Water Heater In Winter

The efficiency of your water heater depends on the following factors: 

The Right Temperature

Even though it’s freezing in winter, you should regulate the temperature of your water heater. If temperatures go beyond a certain limit, you could end up burning your skin. 

The upper limit for the water temperature should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit since the water in your shower or sink nice and warm without scalding. 

The risk is greater if you have small children at home. If the weather becomes extremely cold outside, you could consider turning up the thermostat from 125 to 130 degrees if there are no children involved. 

When you keep the temperature at 120 degrees, you save in terms of both standby heat losses and demand losses. 

If you are a Maryland resident, you could use the services of Constellation Energy to lower your bills even further.  

Annual Flushing Schedule

The efficiency of your water heater falls due to sediment settling in the water heater tank after using it for several weeks and months. The heater needs to work harder to provide hot water. 

To extend the life of your water and improve its efficiency, you should have an annual flushing schedule. 

The flushing process is easy. All you need is a hose to flush the water through the drain valve. Choose a safe place to drain out the water. 

The size of the water tank and the quantity of water also decide the frequency of flushing. The higher the capacity of the water heater, the more frequently it needs to be flushed. 

The manufacturer’s instructions would be a good starting point. A rule of thumb would be draining the water heater every year for one or two people and inspecting it every six months. 

If the number of people is six or more, then the frequency of inspection would be four months and drainage 6 months. 

If the water from your municipality has a high-sediment content, the frequency of drainage will go up. 

Save With Insulation

Proper insulation can keep the water warm for a longer time and cut down your energy bills as a result. Water heaters should have an extra layer of insulation, whether they have tanks or not. 

Neoprene foam should be used for insulating electric water heaters and fiberglass wrap for gas water heaters. 

Insulation protects your water heater from damage and helps it reach the required temperature faster, which means less pressure on your boiler and extra savings for you. 

Component Failure

Gas or water heaters have a pilot light that you should keep an eye on during winter. For electrical water heaters, watch out for the heating elements and thermostat. 

When components like the pilot control valve and thermocouple malfunction due to extreme cold, you should contact a technician immediately. 

Most modern water heaters come with a thermal expansion tank and circulator or recirculating pump. If these parts don’t work, your costs are likely to go up during winter. 

Anode Rod

Water heaters have an anode rod for the reduction and prevention of corrosion. This extends the life of your water heater and should be well maintained. 

If you find portions of the rod missing or see milky water when the tank is flushed, it needs to be replaced. 

Pressure Reducing Valve

The setting of the pressure reducing valve should range between 50 and 60 psi. 

If the pressure goes beyond this limit, your water heater could be damaged. If you find water dripping from the valve, it is a sign of high water pressure.

Temperature And Pressure Relief Valve

A temperature and pressure relief valve ensure no pressure buildup and eventual explosion of the water heater tank. 

Located right at the top of the heater, it opens and releases the air to regulate the air pressure. When the water pressure is over normal limits, dripping water is an indication. 

To ensure safety, you should install an expansion tank if the water heater doesn’t have one. Test the valve to see if it makes a hissing sound. If not, it’s time to replace it.  

Clutter-Free Space

The space around the water heater should be free of clutter, and there should be a safe distance from any other material kept in the storage room. Normally, you should maintain a distance of at least 2 feet around it. 

Clean the area regularly and keep combustible or inflammable material away from the water heater.  

Get Your Water Heater Winter Ready

A hot water bath sounds way more enticing during the winter season. But battling the cold weather in the shower is possible only if your water heater is maintained properly. 

Your boiler system shows some telltale signs if there are problems. To avoid any sudden shocks, look out for these signs and either take action yourself or get help from a professional technician. 

All maintenance-related work needs to be complete before winter arrives. Follow the best practices for using your water heater by keeping the temperature at 120 degrees. 

Texas residents can lower their bills with a plan of their choice from Entrust Energy. Choose from fixed-rate or variable-rate plans and make the most of your water heater.

With your water heater in great shape, you can really and truly be prepared for the bitter cold in the coming months.

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