Your water heater is easy to forget about. Every morning you get up and take your shower, and hot water flows through your home just like it has every morning before, but as it does its job, your water heater is using valuable energy. There are some maintenance steps you can take to make it run as efficiently as possible and also extend its life. If you've been wondering what water heater maintenance Los Angeles HVAC pros recommend, here's what the team at Nexgen Air wants you to know.

How to Maintain My Water Heater so It Runs Efficiently

To keep your water heater efficient, you will want to:

1. Turn Down the Temperature

Hot water is a necessity, but you may not need the water to be quite as hot as you think. Every 10 degrees you lower your heater will save about 3 to 5 percent on your energy bills, and also keep your heater from working too hard. Instead of the 140 degrees most heaters are preset for, lower it to 120. However, don't go lower, as too cool will allow more mineral buildup.

2. Drain the Tank

One of the problems that plague water heaters is sediment and debris. Drain ¼ of the water in the tank several times a year to reduce this problem. Before draining, turn off the electric or gas to put out the pilot light, then hook up a hose to the drain and run for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Insulate the Pipes

Insulate all exposed hot water pipes. This will help in two ways. First, it will stop heat loss. Second, it will help your water to arrive hotter at the faucet. This means less time running the water waiting for it to warm, so not only will you lose less heating energy but you will also lose less water.

4. Add an Insulation Blanket

Putting an insulation blanket around the water heater will improve its efficiency, particularly if you have an older unit. In fact, you could see a 45% reduction in heat loss with this addition.

5. Use Less Hot Water

If you have a family with four people, and each of those four people showers for five minutes a day, you will use 700 gallons of water a week. That's a significant amount. To make your water heater more efficient, use less hot water. Low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators in bathroom and kitchen faucets will help. These steps can reduce hot water use by up to 60%.

6. Schedule Annual Hot Water Heater Inspections

Have a professional HVAC technician inspect your water heater once a year. This will ensure that any small problems that are developing are addressed before they hurt the systems efficiency or cause a system breakdown.

7. Change the T&P Valve

The T&P Valve release pressurized hot water when the pressure builds to a high level inside the tank. As it wears out, it may start releasing water too often. You can address this by either lowering the temperature in the water heater a few degrees or replacing a faulty or failing valve.

HVAC Company Near Me Offering Water Heater Maintenance Services

Are you looking for a partner to help with your water heater maintenance? Nexgen Air is an HVAC company in Los Angeles that offers a full list of water heater maintenance, repairs and replacement services. Contact our qualified team today to schedule your water heater maintenance services in Southern California.

HVAC is not something the average person understands, whether you own your own home or currently rent an apartment unit, monthly utility bills are often a big question. You never really know what it might cost when you open that envelope. Wouldn't it be nice to no longer worry about the number looking back at you? By cutting down energy consumption, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every single year.

You've probably heard many of the common energy saving recommendations, such as switching out old light bulbs for new energy saving options. However, by looking further into these 10 HVAC facts, you'll not only learn a bit more about your heating and cooling system, but also a few ways to trim down monthly energy consumption.

1. Where Does Most Energy Usage Come From?

Did you know the vast majority of your energy consumption comes from three different appliances in your home? That's right. 75% of your home's total energy usage stems from your water heater, air conditioner, and furnace. This means if you can improve the energy efficiency of these three appliances you'll save a substantial amount throughout the year. But what options do you have? First, how old is your water heater? An old water heater bleeds energy. If it is time for an upgrade, consider a tankless water heater.

2. Almost Half of Homeowners Don't Know What Their Monthly Electric Bill Is

Yes, 47% of homeowners don't know what they're spending on electricity. Would you do that for your mortgage, rent, car insurance or cell phone? Probably not. You need to know what you are paying and monitor changes in monthly bills. By doing this, you'll have a better understanding of what you're paying and how it changes throughout the year. This way, you can make necessary changes to improve energy efficiency.

3. Sleep Better With the Right Temperature

Struggling to sleep? Maybe it's your home's temperature. Optimal sleeping temperatures are between 65 and 72. Do different family members need varying room temperatures to sleep? Consider switching to a ductless multi-room system. This allows you to control each room's temperature directly and can save you money along the way (as you're no longer cooling or heating the guest bedroom or other areas of the house you rarely use).

4. 10 Degrees is 14%

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, if you turn down your thermostat 10 degrees while out of the house and at night, you'll save 14% on your energy bill. With a programmable thermostat, you can easily make this change. A smart thermostat gives you, even more, control, allowing you to change the home temperature from your smartphone.

5. Save With Cooler Water

Everyone loves a hot shower. But do you need it that hot? If you turn down the temp on your water heater by 10 degrees, you can save up to 5% annually on energy costs. If your water heater is on the older side, replacing it can help boost energy efficiency even further.

6. Monthly HVAC Savings

By transforming your house into an energy efficient home, you can save at least $75 a month. Over the span of 30 years, this equals a savings of $27,000.

7. Replace That Old Furnace

A furnace's life expectancy is 20 years. However, as it ages, it becomes less efficient. This is why you need to have it annually inspected in order to maintain performance and reduce energy costs. Every year, newer furnaces are sold with improved energy efficiency ratings.

8. The AFUE Rating

Did you know your heating system's AFUE rating can tell you the percentage of fuel consumed for heat and what you're losing? Stay on top of this to see if there is a change. It means you're losing fuel in the transfer. Insulation options can help cut fuel loss and improve your heating system.

9. Beware the Power Vampire

There are many appliances that still draw power, even when turned off. These appliances are referred to as "Power Vampires." Consider either unplugging unused appliances or connect everything into a power saving power strip. Throughout the United States, all the energy lost to power vampires annually is enough to power 7,387 homes a year.

10. The Love of Central Air

According to the US Census Bureau of the American Housing Survey, 65% of households have central AC. Only 22% use a room or window unit. The rest either don't have AC or use an alternative cooling method. AC units can kill your energy bill if you're not careful. In fact, the amount of energy the United States uses annually to run AC units is the same amount of energy, in total, used by the entire African continent.

Hot water on demand is one of the best perks a home can provide, right along with air conditioning and the garbage disposal. However, like any other major home appliance, water heaters eventually break down, especially storage tank water heaters. If your storage tank water heater has seen better days, it could be time to consider upgrading to a tankless water heater.

The Perks of a Tankless Water Heater

 Whether or not you need to replace your water heater, the benefits of installing a tankless water heater are worth the cost and effort. Storage tank water heaters need to run constantly to keep the water inside the tank hot. Generally storing 30-50 gallons of hot water, there’s a limited hot water supply. What’s also important to note is that the operating costs of a tank storage water heater are expensive because it’s always running to keep the water heated. In comparison to the 20-30 lifespan of a tankless water heater, the average lifespan of a storage tank water heater is 10-15 years. The benefits of a tankless water heater include much more than efficiency, and here’s why.

What to Consider When Installing a Tankless Water Heater 

If you’re ready to invest in a tankless water heater, it’s important to first consider the different types of tankless water heaters and what works best for you. Size, fuel type, and efficiency are a few important factors to think about when selecting a tankless water heater. Before contacting a plumber, consider the following.

Stop Paying High Water Utility Bills 

Don’t let your wallet and lifestyle suffer a day longer, not when a tankless water heater can cut down your utility bills by 20%.

If you’re ready to install a tankless water heater, then it’s time to contact Nexgen!