Why Your Water Heater Costs So Much to Run
When people are worried about their energy bills during the summer, the usual reason is that the AC is working so often that it’s making electrical costs skyrocket. But a house can also run into higher heatingbills during the summer—and not because someone keeps absent-mindedly turning on the furnace. There is an important heating appliance that works through the summer, and it’s the water heater. The water heater consumes more energy than your home heating system, and it operates every day, no matter the weather outdoors.
If you’ve noticed that your water heater is costing more to run than it normally does, there are a number of different possibilities.
ONE: You have an ancient water heater
If your water heater is old enough that making a comparison to the building of the Great Pyramid wouldn’t seem too silly, then it’s no surprise that you’re paying so much to run it. A storage tank water heater can usually last around 15 years, sometimes as much as 20, and a tankless water heater can go a bit longer than this. But as the water heater ages, it will become less energy efficient. Regular maintenance can only keep this away for so long before the deterioration sets in. If a water heater is more than 15 years old, it’s best to replace it when it becomes costly to run.
TWO: The water heater tank needs to be flushed
A storage tank water heater will naturally dissolve sediment in its tank which then gathers at the bottom. This layer of sediment between the heat exchanger and the water cuts into system efficiency and raises costs. We once started to described how you can do a tank flush on your own, but then gave up because it’s just too complicated. Let our professionals do the job for you, fast and easy.
This is often connected to water heater age, but it’s important enough to receive its own section. A water heater has protection against corrosion, such as a sacrificial anode rod that rusts out so the rest of the system doesn’t. But if the anode rod isn’t changed out regularly, corrosion can start to take effect. Corrosion on the heat exchanger or the burners can cause a drop in efficiency. Fortunately, if these problems are caught early enough, they can be replaced. If corrosion starts to affect the tank, the water heater usually must be replaced.
FOUR: The temperature is set too high
A water heater’s aquastat (its equivalent of a thermostat) shouldn’t be set higher than 140°F. Otherwise, it creates a scalding hazard. But it doesn’t need to be at 140°F either. The Department of Energy recommends lowering the aquastat to 120°F, which can save you from 6% to 20% on the cost of running the water heater compared to 140°F.
Check around your water heater. Are there pools of water? There shouldn’t be! The only place where water should be leaving the water heater is a pressure expansion valve, which may allow out a few drops. Leaks not only cost money in lost water, they jeopardize the whole system. Have professionals fix these as soon as possible.
We offer service for all types of water heaters in Rocklin, CA. We’ll do whatever repairs or replacement work you need for a better water heater.