The Virginia air is getting considerably cooler and degrees are lowering to a crispness. Soon, before we all know it, snow will be blanketing the Chesterfield and Midlothian grounds. Decreasing temperatures will make us want to cuddle up on our couches and watch Hallmark’s latest release of a romantic holiday comedy.
There is nothing more satisfying than escaping the cold, frigid air, into a warm and relaxing shower. That is why the proper upkeep of your water heater is of the utmost importance during the winter.
Because your water heater can become especially important during the winter, we think that a refresher course on water heater could be helpful. In this article, we go over the benefits of a water heater, how to know when to replace your old water heater, and how you can properly maintain it during the winter months.
Why Your Water Heater Matters
In case you’re unfamiliar with the multitude of benefits that come from having a water heater, whether that be in the form of a tank or tankless water heater, we have compiled the most popular reasons for having one in your home.
In a previous blog post, we addressed the numerous amounts of benefits that are inherently tied to a long-lasting, tank-type water heater. Here is a list of the top benefits of tank water heaters:
Similarly, tankless water heaters provide advantages to the comfort of your household as well. With tankless water heaters, you can save both energy and money by installing systems that use a drain-water heat recovery to prevent the heating of new water.
Additionally, tankless water heaters ultimately give you ‘on-demand’ hot water without the cost of heating up unused water. In other words, tankless water heaters only heat the water that will be used.
The top reasons to consider switching to a tankless water heater are listed as:
- Unlimited Hot Water
When to Replace Your Water Heater
Now that we’ve covered some benefits of tanked and tankless water heaters, we will address the telltale signs to repair or replace your water heater to ensure you have access to hot water year-round! To make sure that your water heater lasts the duration of its average lifespan, we suggest you thoroughly carry out a yearly maintenance check up. When you check your tank, you want to make sure there isn’t any sediment buildup. Also, check your anode rod is still at least a ½ inch in thickness.
More signs indicating that you may need a new water heater are:
- Noise due to extreme sediment buildup
- Temperature (the ideal temperature is between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Age (typically lasts 5-10 years)
Maintaining Your Water Heater During the Winter
While most of us always value the pleasantness of a nice warm shower after a long day, they become especially valuable to us during the colder days. To best prepare for the winter time, it is important to consider draining your water heater.
In a previous blog post, we detail the 4 steps you should follow to drain your water heater in the most efficient way. If you prefer to have a licensed plumber to drain your water heater, call Mike Wilson Plumbing at (804) 641-6570.
To further prepare your tank, we suggest you insulate the interior of your tanked water heater (if it doesn’t already have built-in insulation). Our plumbers can help properly install a tank cover, insulating the tank and keeping the tank’s water hot.
When temperatures drop and heat escapes your water tank, energy and cost expenditures go up. During the winter, the impulse may be to raise the temperature of your water heater. However, we suggest lowering the temperature 1 or 2 degrees to save on energy consumption.
Now that you know the basics behind the need for a water heater and the proper wintertime maintenance, feel free to contact Mike Wilson Plumbing for any plumbing needs that you may have.