How to Improve Water Heater Efficiency
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How to Improve Water Heater Efficiency

A water heater runs year round. Improve your water heater's efficiency and save money.

Improve water heater efficiency

Gas and electricity are not cheap now a days. Squeezing every ounce of efficiency out of your appliances will

really add up in the long run. Your water heater is an appliance that runs year round so improving the efficiency

can mean big savings. Here are six ways to save.

1. Drain the Water Heater

It is good practice to drain your water heater regularly. When water is heated it drops out minerals which form

scale at the bottom of your water heater. The scale acts as an insulator, reducing heat transfer from the flame.

This causes poor efficiency. Draining your water heater will flush minerals and scale out creating better heat transfer.

2. Insulate Water Heater

There are insulation jackets you can buy for water heaters. Water heaters are set to maintain a certain temperature 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The water heater tank is constantly losing heat. Insulating the tank will slow down heat loss resulting in fewer heating cycles.

3. Insulate Hot Water Pipes

This follows the same principle as insulating the water heater. The pipes are also losing heat and insulating them slows the heat loss. Insulating the hot water pipes also results in faster hot water.

4. Replace Heat Traps

When you look at a water heater before installation you notice the two 3/4" nipples sticking out the top of the water heater for the hot and cold water connections. These nipples should have heat traps in them. The heat traps will keep heat in the water heater and prevent heat migration. If your water heater is over ten years old this could add some efficiency and save you money.

5. Clean the Burner Area

It's common for debris to fall on top of the burner. It's a good idea to clean this out once a year. The debris can fall onto the burner and redirect the flame which wastes heat. Vacuuming out the the burner area and brushing out the burner itself will ensure a clean flame with good contact.

6. Water Heater Upgrade

Water heaters are becoming more efficient just like every other appliance. A typical tank water heater that vents into a metal stack is somewhere around 80% efficient. So every $1 you spend on gas, you only use $0.80 worth. Power vented water heaters are bringing the efficiency up to around 90%. Another alternative is a tankless water heater. This water heater just turns on when hot water is needed and there is no tank to keep heated.

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