When water enters your water heater, it brings in dirt, sediment and other minerals. These minerals settle onto the bottom of your water heater, and they can cause problems if your water heater isn't properly maintained. If left to sit at the bottom of your water heater, this dirt and sediment can make your system run less efficiently. Eventually the sediment will eat away at the metal of your water heater, causing the need for emergency repairs.
Drain Your Water Heater Once a Year
Your water heater should be drained once a year in order for the sediment and dirt to be washed out of the system. You can try this yourself, or call in a professional to complete the work for you. While it will cost you a little bit of money to hire a professional to do this work for you, you will save money in the long run because your system will run efficiently and you won't run into as many emergency repairs.
Wrap Your Water Heater With Insulation
Basements are cold, and most of the time your water heater is going to be in the basement of your house. If your water heater is not yet insulated, consider wrapping your water heater with insulation in order to help it stay warm. This will increase the efficiency of your water heater, and it only has to be done one time.
Use a Viable Anode Rod
An anode rod is a metal rod inside your water heater that is made of magnesium or aluminum. Over time, this anode rod gets corroded. When the anode rod corrodes completely, the sides of the water tank will begin to corrode. Make sure to replace the anode rod if the old one looks too thin or corroded to avoid having the tank get ruined by the water inside.
To further maximize your water heater's efficiency, you can set the temperature to 120 degrees instead of the generally set 140 degrees. By setting the water heater temperature lower, the buildup of corrosion in your water heater and pipes will slow down. You save money as well, because it is cheaper to heat water to 120 degrees than to 140 degrees, and keeping the water at a lower temperature when the heater is resting is cheaper as well.
Make sure to check your water heater for signs of corrosion, and call a professional such as Christian Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for routine maintenance every year.