Taking the time to prepare a water heater for winter can save you money and prevent daily hassles with your hot water tap. The cold Cincinnati winters make it harder for your water heater to do its job. If you don’t help it out a little, it will use more energy than necessary trying to keep your water hot and it may not provide enough hot water at all.
If the water heater is warm to the touch, it’s wasting energy. To improve its energy efficiency, install a water heater insulating blanket. These are available for both gas and electric models. The utilities company may offer these at a low cost or you can find them at home improvement stores. Installation is simply a matter of cutting the blanket to size and taping it in place.
Cold pipes can also prevent you from getting sufficiently hot water out of your taps. If your pipes run through uninsulated or cold spaces, such as the garage or an exterior wall, insulate the pipes. Heat tape and pipe insulation tubing are both good options. This upgrade also reduces the risk of frozen pipes.
Upgrade Water Heater Location
Insulation will only go so far if the water heater is stuck in a cold room. For water heaters in garages, attics and even closets, this is often the case. Check around the room for drafts, particularly around exterior windows and doors, baseboards, electrical outlets and pipe penetrations. If find drafts, use caulk or weatherstripping as appropriate to seal the air leaks.
If there are no noticeable drafts but the room is colder than the rest of the house, consider adding insulation to the walls. By using loose-fill (blown-in) insulation, you can do this without having to tear open the whole wall. Routine water heater maintenance, such as flushing the tank, also keeps the water heating system efficient.
For more professional tips on how to prepare a water heater for winter and improve your home’s energy efficiency, contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in the greater Cincinnati area.
Image Provided by Shutterstock.com