Hot water heaters aren’t supposed to last forever, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still things you can do to extend the life of your hot water heater. It’s easier than you think!
Keep Up With Maintenance
The number one rule for prolonging the life of any HVAC system is to keep up with its maintenance. Don’t just address a problem after it’s happened. Actively work to keep your hot water heater in good health to prevent problems before they cost you.
Regularly Flush Your Tank
Over time, sediment from the minerals in your water will settle at the bottom of your tank. If you leave it for too long, it can compromise the efficiency of your unit and lead to internal corrosion. The way to prevent this from becoming a problem for you is to make sure you regularly flush out your tank.
Check Your Anode Rod
Anode rods keep your hot water heater from rusting from the inside out by attracting corrosion. After a few years, though, that corrosion can eat away at the metal rod until there’s nothing left, which is obviously a danger to your unit. Lucky for you, replacing a hot water heaters anode rod is one of the most cost-effective repairs a hot water heater often needs.
Insulate Your Pipes/Heater
Although it may not directly affect your hot water heater’s longevity, insulating your pipes and heater can improve the efficiency of your property in several ways. If your hot water heater is struggling to keep your hot water hot, your bill is getting higher, or you worry about frozen pipes in the winter, insulating your pipes and heater will naturally raise the water temperature a few degrees to help reduce its strain.
Test Your Pressure Relief Valve
Your hot water heater’s pressure relief valve does exactly what you would think, it automatically releases water when the pressure gets too high to prevent catastrophic outcomes. If it’s faulty, though, it cannot do its job, which means your property is at risk. So, pop a bucket under your T&P valve, lift the lever, and let loose a few gallons. If the water stops completely when you close the valve, you’re good to go. If not, you have to replace it.
Look At Your Gas Lines
If you have a hot water heater heated with gas, inspecting your gas lines regularly is definitely a good idea. Having rust, cracks, or leaks in your gas line is not only a serious health hazard for you, but it can also jeopardize your hot water heater in more ways than one as well.
Add An Expansion Tank
Because water expands when it’s heated, only so much of it can fit into your hot water heater. With an expansion tank, however, you can minimize the risk of issues with your unit’s internal pressure by expanding the capacity of your tank, effectively prolonging your unit’s longevity.
Get A Water Softener
Hard water is horrendous for hot water heaters. The harder the water, the more minerals, like magnesium and calcium, are left able to collect at the bottom of your tank, leading to more frequent flushing. By investing in a quality water softener, you can reduce the sediment left behind in your hot water heater and prolong the life of your unit.
Use Vacation Mode
If you’re not using hot water, it makes sense that you shouldn’t have to pay for it – so don’t! If you have a modern hot water heater, your unit likely has a vacation mode that will reduce the temperature of your water while you’re away. Don’t be disappointed if your unit is a bit older, though. You can just as easily adjust the temperature inside your tank manually before and after you leave on your trip.
For more information on extending the life of your hot water heater or investing in your property’s HVAC health, we encourage you to connect with our talented heating and cooling technicians at Tru Comfort Heating and Cooling by calling (602) 499-7855, or simply fill out the form in the sidebar.
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