Summer is just around the corner, and that means days spent by the pool, at the lake, or in your very own backyard. And all that increased time spent in the hot sun means more frequent showers and baths. Is your water heater ready?

You see, your water heater is a vital appliance in your home, providing hot water for bathing, cooking, cleaning, and more. To ensure optimal performance and extend its lifespan, regular maintenance is essential. By implementing a few simple tasks, you can keep your water heater running efficiently this summer and for years to come. Here’s a comprehensive guide to maintaining your water heater:

  • Flush the tank annually. Over time, sediment and mineral buildup can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, reducing efficiency and potentially causing damage. Flushing the tank annually helps remove these deposits and maintains optimal performance. Turn off the power or gas supply to the water heater, connect a garden hose to the drain valve, and drain several gallons of water until it runs clear.
  • Inspect for leaks. Check for any signs of leaks around the tank, fittings, or connections. Even small leaks can lead to water damage and should be addressed promptly. Tighten loose fittings or replace damaged components to prevent further leakage.
  • Insulate hot water pipes. Insulating hot water pipes helps minimize heat loss and ensures that hot water reaches its destination more quickly, reducing energy consumption. Use pipe insulation sleeves or wrap them with foam insulation to maintain hot water temperature and improve efficiency.
  • Adjust temperature settings. Set the water heater’s temperature to a safe and comfortable level (typically around 120°F). Higher temperatures not only increase the risk of scalding but also lead to higher energy bills. Check the temperature settings periodically and adjust as needed.
  • Test the anode rod. The anode rod is a sacrificial component that attracts corrosive elements, protecting the tank from rust and corrosion. Inspect the anode rod annually and replace it if it shows signs of deterioration, such as significant corrosion or pitting.
  • Monitor for efficiency changes. Keep an eye out for any changes in your water heater’s performance, such as reduced hot water output, unusual noises, or an increase in energy bills. These could be signs of underlying problems that require attention.
  • Schedule professional inspection. Consider hiring a professional plumber to perform an annual inspection and maintenance service on your water heater. A qualified technician can identify potential issues early on, perform necessary repairs, and ensure that your water heater operates efficiently and safely.
  • Replace when necessary. Despite regular maintenance, water heaters have a limited lifespan. If your water heater is more than 10 years old or frequently requires repairs, it may be time for a replacement. Upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model can save you money in the long run.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that you water heater operates efficiently, reliably, and safely for years to come. If your water heater is showing signs or trouble or you can’t recall that last time it was professionally inspected, contact Zach Heating & Cooling today and enjoy uninterrupted access to hot water all summer long and beyond.