Tag Archives: Home Maintenance

Conservation Tip: Maintain Your Water Heater

Water heating currently represents up to 20 percent of US residential energy consumption, making it the third largest energy consumer in homes, behind heating and cooling and kitchen appliances.

Maintaining your water heater will not only save energy, but also will extend the life of the water heater. Here are a few tips to maintain your water heater and save up to 200 lbs. of CO2 per year:

  1. Drain water heater annually. Sediment collects at the bottom of the tank, which leads the hot water heater to perform inefficiently and lead to higher energy costs. By draining the water heater once per year, you will eliminate the build up inside the water heater and keep the water heater working efficiently.
  2. During the annual draining process, Inspect the water heater for damage and assess system performance. Check for leaks and any strange noises, may be a sign that it is time to replace your water heater.
  3. Set water heater temperature. Manufacturers typically preset new hot water heaters at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends homeowners set the heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) to save money and energy. For each 10ºF reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3%-5% in energy costs.
  4. Insulate water heater. Heat loss from the tank and pipes causes decreased energy efficiency in a conventional hot water heater. You can save money by purchasing a water heater blanket from your local hardware store.

Leave a comment

Filed under Energy Conservation, Home Winterization

How to Maintain Hot Water Heater

Tips to Properly Maintain Your Hot Water Heater


There are several easy and inexpensive ways to increase a water heater’s operating efficiency and operating life. Hot_Water_Tank

By following several of these tips, you can make your hot water less expensive:
  • Add an insulation blanket.
  • Inspect the flue for breaks or gaps that could leak deadly exhaust gas.
  • Twice a year, drain and flush sediment, which reduces efficiency in the water heater. If the level of sediment is in your water supply is high, this may need to be done more often.  To drain the tank, turn off the water supply at the tank top, hook a hose to the water spigot at the base, open a hot-water tap in the house and open the water spigot. Once the tank is drained, turn on the water supply at the top of the tank and let it run until the water draining out is clear. Close the spigot and turn off the tap.
  • Once a year, check the pressure-relief valve to make sure this crucial safety device isn’t clogged. To relieve any overpressurization in the tank, place a bucket beneath the copper overflow pipe. Carefully push the relief valve at the top and a burst of hot water should spray out. If not, the valve should be replaced.
  • Make sure a viable anode rod hangs in the tank to prevent rust out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Energy Conservation, Home Winterization