Hot water is something we all take for granted everyday. You might be paying more than you should for your hot water if you don’t perform periodic maintenance on your water heater. Since water heaters average 18% of your utility bills each month, a more efficiently functioning system means savings for you. Take a look on how you can save money on your next utility bill.
Set your gas or electric water heater to an appropriate temperature for daily use. The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a happy medium between minimizing the risk for Legionnaires Disease, but not using excessive energy to heat your tank and minimizing the risk of hot water burns.
Insulating your water heater is a great way to save additional money. Purpose-built insulation blankets can be purchased from your local hardware store to fit your water heater.
Also, be sure to keep the area a couple of feet around your water heater clear of objects, unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer.
Now that your water heater is set up for optimal performance and savings, it’s time to get into the habit of annual maintenance to keep that efficiency. First, perform an annual check of the pressure-relief valve by discharging water from it a few times.
Next, drain your water heater once a year to clear sediment that can impact efficiency. Ensure your electricity or gas supply is off before servicing the unit. You may need to flush the water heater with cold water to remove all the sediment. Once the water runs clear, top off the tank and either reconnect the power or relight the pilot. Take a moment to double-check your thermostat setting at this time.
Finally, it is recommended to check your anode rod every few years, though checking it more frequently won’t hurt. Your anode rod is a sacrificial metal insert that will prevent your tank from rusting. While the rod should be corroded, it’s time to replace it if you can see about six inches of steel core wire.
Are you interested in cutting your bills, but don’t feel up to it yourself? Save money on your next utility bill by having your water heater professionally serviced by Robert B. Payne, Inc. Contact us today at (540) 373-5876.