Water heaters are important for providing hot water for showers and cleaning. However, they can also become expensive to operate as they lose efficiency. If you believe your water heater doesn’t perform as well as it used to, keep reading to learn more about what to do if your water heater has lost efficiency.
Signs of an Inefficient Water Heater
Unless your water heater suddenly stops working, you may not even notice it has lost efficiency until the problem becomes severe. Therefore, you need to fully understand the signs that a water heater has started to fail so you can repair or replace the system before a disaster.
First, if you’ve checked the temperature on the water heater, but you still can’t get the water hot enough for long enough, the system may have become too old.
Another sign may come from the taps throughout your home. When you use the hot water, if you notice a brownish or reddish tint to the water, it may be rust. Rust can come directly from the inside of the tank. This happens if the inside walls of the tank begin to rust from age or damage (such as being scratched by sediment). Similarly, murky smelly water may indicate the tank needs cleaning.
Finally, go examine your water heater. If it has abnormal noises, such as rumbling or banging, you may have buildup in the tank from sediment. If you routinely drain and clean your tank, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Ways to Improve Efficiency
If your system doesn’t run as efficiently as you believe it should, start with contacting a repair technician. Servicing and cleaning the tank alone may be enough to boost the efficiency. Your technician can also help you make other modifications, such as adding special insulation around the water heater to keep the water naturally warmer without wasting energy.
Of course, if you still want to improve efficiency and/or you can’t afford to repair or replace the system, you can down a few things on your own to help reduce how much hot water you consume. The first step is to fix any leaking pipes, faucets, showerheads, or appliances.
You can also switch to low-flow options, such as low-flow toilets. However, replacing a toilet can also be expensive. Luckily, replacing your showerhead to a low-flow one may only cost about $25. Finally, use cold water instead of hot whenever you can.
Tips When Choosing Your Next Water Heater
One of the most important aspects to consider when buying a new water heater is the first-hour rating (FHR). This refers to how many gallons of hot water the heater can supply for one hour. Make sure this rating is high enough to supply enough hot water for everyone during peak use.
Naturally, make sure you buy a system that works with your power source. While many water heaters run on electricity, others may use gas or oil. Simply choose a water heater that fits with your power supply instead of changing the power supply altogether. Also, remember that you want a system with a high energy factor based on the type of power supply.
Finally, consider if you need a water tank at all. On-demand water heaters are tankless, which means less space and less money. Without a tank to keep heated, the system only uses energy when you need hot water. Unfortunately, this means you have to wait a moment for the water to heat, but once it’s heated, you can’t run out of hot water (unless the power supply is lost).
Inefficient water heaters can become expensive, especially if your family uses a lot of hot water. If you believe your water heater has become old or worn, it may be time to repair or replace the system entirely. If you would like to know more, contact us at Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning today.