In Houston there are many everyday tasks that we take for granted, like enjoying relaxing hot showers and baths or soaking stubborn dish stains in steamy water, can be traced back to the water heater, one of the most important systems in the house. Unfortunately, with most of its work taking place behind the scenes, water heater maintenance sometimes falls by the wayside, leading to lower efficiency levels and higher energy bills. While scheduling Houston water heater repair services is occasionally necessary for better long-term functionality, there are a few simple things you can do on your own to keep your water heater running smoothly in between professional appointments.
1. Lower the Thermostat
Like your HVAC system, the water heater gobbles up as much energy as you tell it to, according to the temperature you set on its thermostat. In most cases, the temperature on residential water heaters is set too high. After all, scalding water is as of little use as an ice-cold water, so why should you keep paying for something you do not need? Although temperature settings on hot water heaters typically go up to a scorching 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the top temperature most people need to keep water comfortably warm is closer to 120.
2. Flush Your Water Heater Every Year
Flushing breaks down the stubborn sediment that builds up in the water heater’s tank over time, clogging up water lines and creating a situation of diminishing returns on energy use. If you have an electric water heater, be sure to turn off its power supply before getting started. Gas water heaters can be disconnected by shutting down the gas switch that lights up the pilot. If the waste that drains out is filled with debris, run the water through again to make sure you remove all of the remaining buildup.
3. Check Your Water Heater for Leaks
Even small leaks can be a big problem because they waste water, damage surrounding surfaces and increase the risk of mold infestation. The good news is that leaks are usually minor repairs, especially when caught in their early stages. If you know or suspect that your hot water heater is leaking, call a Houston residential plumber for a quick and hassle-free fix.
4. Improve Pipe Insulation
Not all efficiency improvements start and end with your water heater unit. Think of it as the first step in a complex chain reaction that eventually sends hot water flowing out of your faucet. Increasing efficiency in any of the links that make up this process can make a big difference in your monthly energy savings. One great way to do just that is to add insulation to the pipes that carry heated water to its final destination. If you are not sure which of the exposed pipes are responsible for handling hot water, carefully touch them to feel out their interior temperature.
5. Make Water Conservation a Family Affair
Turning saving water into a priority for the whole family is a good way to build on the energy you will save from turning down your water heater’s thermostat. Taking shorter showers, using energy-efficient dishwashers and choosing the cold setting on your washing machine are all easy things you can do to save water on a daily basis.
In addition to following the steps above, it is a good idea to invest in qualified Houston plumber services on an annual basis. After all, even perfectly maintained systems will eventually need professional attention due to standard wear and tear. By being proactive and hiring Houston water heater repair services before more damage is done, you can save more money and time instead of fixing bigger problems down the road.