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Bundle Up Your Water Heater

Summer vacation is over for your water heater, which means it’s going to be working harder to keep the water hot throughout the winter. Since water heaters use a good share of your home’s energy, bundling it up with an insulating blanket saves energy dollars and prolongs this appliance’s lifetime.

Water naturally cools off in the winter and air temperatures drop. It will cost more to heat the water and maintain its temperature 24/7. If you can feel heat emanating from the outside of the tank with your hand, you can cut its standby losses with a blanket, available at home centers.

Sizing the Tank

Measure the height and circumference of the tank and write it down before heading to the store, and note whether it’s gas or electric and how many gallons it holds. Buy a blanket that’s as close to your water heater’s size, or slightly larger.

Wrapping the Tank

Follow the manufacturer’s directions closely when wrapping any kind of water heater. Electric units are fairly straightforward, but you may want to hire a licensed plumber or HVAC contractor to wrap a gas heater. It needs adequate air flow and for the combustion process and venting. Do not cover the thermostats on either type. Doing so may cause the appliance to malfunction.

Turn Down the Temperature

Set the temperature on both types of water heaters to 120 degrees. Anything warmer may harm any electronic components inside them. A lower temperature also cuts your energy bills and slows down the buildup of hard water deposits at the bottom of the tank.

Manufacturers routinely set the water temperature at 140 degrees when they ship the tanks. Such a high temperature is unnecessary for most household tasks, and also increases the risks of scalding. Most dishwashers have heating elements that will increase the temperature to 140 degrees, which costs far less than heating an entire tank.

Trimming the energy the water heater uses saves money and lengthens its life. If you’d like more information or assistance, contact Beyer Boys, providing trusted HVAC and plumbing services for San Antonio homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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