Keep your water heater regularly serviced to increase its efficiency, extend its life and save money. While water heater maintenance is fairly straightforward, a qualified HVAC professional will ensure all components are in working order, and will have the expertise to evaluate and replace damaged parts. A water heater annual service should include the following maintenance steps:
The TPR valve
The temperature pressure relief, or TPR, valve releases pressure in the water tank. To check it, your HVAC professional will turn off the power and the cold water supply and lift up the valve. Upon release, no water should escape the valve. If water continues to flow, the valve will be replaced.
The anode rod
Without the anode rod, your water heater tank would quickly rust. To check the condition of the rod, a few gallons of water will be drained from the tank and the rod removed. If it’s covered in mineral deposits or if it’s less than a half-inch thick, your HVAC professional will replace it.
Sediment in the tank
Sediment in your water heater tank can shorten the life of your system and hamper its efficiency. The tank will be drained and the sediment removed from the bottom.
The ideal temperature setting for most residential purposes is 120 degrees. Higher temperatures waste energy, promote corrosion and mineral buildup, and pose a risk for scalding. You can change the temperature yourself, using the dial or screw on the front of your tank.
Insulate the pipes and tank of your water heater to save up to 9 percent on your water heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you do this simple task yourself, use self-sticking foam pipe insulation on both the cold and hot water pipes. Insulate the pipes as far as you can reach. Wrap the tank in an insulating blanket and cut holes for the pipes and controls. Seal the blanket with metal tape. (You many need professional help when insulating a gas water heater.)
For more expert advice on maintaining your water heater and other HVAC equipment, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We provide quality HVAC services to the greater Kansas City area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).