Are your home's energy costs climbing up and out of your budget range? If you have heating or water costs that are hurting your bottom line, it might be time to take a look at your home's water heater. While regular maintenance can increase efficiency and reduce costs, there are some other steps you can take that might help bring your water and heating bills back down. Here are three ways you could potentially lower the costs generated by your water heater.
Insulate Your Tank and Pipes
If you are storing your water heater somewhere that is especially cooler than the rest of the house, like the garage, a bit of extra insulation may be quite valuable. By installing insulation around the tank itself, you will be helping the tank maintain heat for the water that is currently in the reservoir. Likewise, installing insulation along your pipes throughout the house can also help keep heat in and lower overall costs. Insulating your pipes can also help prevent a pipe burst when temperatures get especially cold in the winter.
Get Heat Traps Installed
If you are using an older model water heater, chances are you probably don't have any heat traps installed. Heat traps prevent hot water from leaving the tank when you don't want it to. The installation of heat traps can be complicated, so it's best to hire a professional. Yes, hiring a pro will cost money, but you may find that the heat traps pay for themselves and then some over time.
Flush the Heater Every Year
Sediment will naturally build up in your water heater over time. The less sediment there is, the more room there will be to store hot water. Removing sediment will also help the heater operate more efficiently overall and could help you avoid a costly water heater repair bill somewhere down the line. If you don't already do so, contact a water heater contractor to schedule an annual flush of all sediment, as well as an inspection of the rest of the water heater.
If high energy costs have you steaming, it might be time to contact a contractor who can help. By getting your water heater tank or hot water pipes insulated, you will make it easier for your water heater to do its job. The installation of heat traps and an annual flushing of all sediment in the tank can also go a long way towards reducing your costs.