Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Winter

Though winter is already here in full force, it’s not too late to safeguard your water heater to make sure it gets through the rest of the cold season without incident. Here are just a few tips for winter water heater maintenance tips in Mesa, AZ for you to follow. These tips are helpful even though we obviously do not see the same level of wintery cold in Mesa that you’d see in other parts of the United States.

Add some insulation

It can never hurt to add a little bit of insulation to your water heater tank and pipes to make sure the water stays nice and hot. The cooler the weather gets, the more likely you are to experience heat loss if your water heater is poorly insulated. Those heat losses can result in increased costs and gas usage.

By insulating the tank and the pipes that run away from the water heater, you can cut down on some of the heat loss you might experience. This is going to be more of an issue for older models—newer water heater tanks generally already have built-in insulation features, but there are tank covers available for you to use on older tanks to add some extra insulation.

Check your temperature settings

It can be tempting to turn up the temperature on your water heater during the winter months, but it’s probably a better idea to keep the tank clean and insulated, and leave the temperature at its current setting. Take a look at what your setting is right now, and if it’s cranked up too high, turning it down even just one or two degrees will make a big difference in how much energy you consume throughout the winter.

Inspect the anode rod

The anode rod is an important part of your water heater. Over time it will rust away and “sacrifice” itself (which is why it’s often referred to as the sacrificial rod), and in doing so it will prevent the tank itself from rusting. The rod is at the top of your tank, and it’s a good idea to check it a couple times a year, with winter and summer being sensible times to make those checks. Your rod should last five years, but it’s important to keep an eye on it to make sure it’s in good condition. If it’s covered in calcium or has seen significant wear, you should replace it.

Clean the tank

The more calcium and sediment that builds up in your tank, the less efficient it will become and the less hot water it will produce. Therefore, cleaning your tank not only improves your energy efficiency (thus lowering your energy bills), but also provides you with more reliable hot water throughout the entire season. You may need to drain your tank once or twice a year to clear the buildup and maximize the lifespan of the tank.

For more information about winter water heater maintenance in Mesa, AZ, contact PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air today.