The two biggest energy gluttons in your home are your heating and cooling system, which account for an estimated 30 percent of your home’s energy consumption. The third is your water heater, which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, is responsible for about 14-18 percent of your annual home energy use. Experts agree that a typical storage tank water heater has an estimated life expectancy of about eight to 12 years, with electric models generally lasting slightly longer than gas models. There are certain steps you can take, however, that can allow your water heater to work well for much longer than that, at the same time, operate more efficiently, adding to your comfort level while reducing energy consumption.
As with all mechanical systems, proper preventative maintenance is key to both performance and longevity of a storage tank water heater. This means periodic checks for leaks, corrosion, proper operation of the pressure relief valve and regular draining to remove any internal sediment buildup. Installation of an insulating blanket or jacket also helps reduce energy usage and will extend your water heater’s longevity by lowering its workload.
While you, as a homeowner, can complete many of these steps, scheduling an annual water heater maintenance checkup from a trusted plumber will ensure no items are overlooked. Checking and/or replacing the anode rod, for example, is a step often overlooked in DIY maintenance. Replacing this rod when it starts showing signs of wear is an important step in reducing tank corrosion.
Any steps taken to decrease hot water usage will translate into energy savings and tank longevity, since the system will be required to work less. This could include fixing water tap leaks, upgrading to more efficient showerheads/faucets, showering instead of bathing, and running the clothes and dishwashers only with full loads.
Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has been proudly serving our Greater Cleveland neighbors for nearly 80 years, with offices located in Elyria, Lorain, Medina and Oberlin. We invite you to contact us for any further information on water heater maintenance, repair or replacement, or with any questions related to home comfort and energy savings.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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