You never think about your water heater until it is no longer heating water. Your water heater is one of the biggest energy wasters in your home.
There’s more bad news: Your water heater gets less efficient as it gets older. They’re not cheap, so you can’t just replace them when they get less efficient, and there’s no sense in replacing a water heater that isn’t leaking.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to make your water heater more efficient and extend its lifespan. These things are fairly easy to do, won’t take much time and won’t cost a lot.
Clean your water heater tank once a year
Over time, sediment and deposits build up in the tank of your water heater, which makes it far less efficient. Cleaning the tank is not as big a chore as you might think. Flushing sediment from the tank improves efficiency and longevity.
Insulate the tank and hot water pipes
By simply insulating the first six feet of pipe will make a huge difference, and adding insulation to the tank reduces heat loss and can reduce your energy costs by 10 percent or more.
Turn down the thermostat
Most people set the thermostat too high. Even if you like a hot shower, you can set your thermostat at 120 degrees in order to have comfortable water and reduce waste. You can use a meat thermometer to make sure your readings are accurate by checking the water temperature at several locations in your home.
Check the anode rod
An anode rod is a sacrificial rod installed in a water heater that protects the tank from corrosion. It attracts the corrosive properties in the water, which will corrode the rod instead of the lining of your tank. A used-up rod is far cheaper to replace than a new heater.