All I Want for Christmas is a Hot Water Heater

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If you’re like us, you’re already looking forward to Christmas morning. Waking up to the soft morning light and the scent of coffee, anticipation and joy are palpable throughout the house. A warm glow envelops everything.

That is, until someone takes a shower...

Whether it’s a dreaded and all-too-familiar morning ritual or a result of too many houseguests, nobody likes a cold shower. Fortunately, American Mechanical, Inc. is here to help. If your water heater has turned a cold shoulder, give us a call and sign up for our American Mechanical Home Care Agreement (trust us, it’s worth it).

In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you through those chilly December mornings:

You’re not smothering me.

Insulating the tank and pipes of your hot water heater could be your saving grace if you’re expecting company this winter. Wrap the tank in an insulating blanket (yes, that’s really what they’re called).

Smothering your heater will not drive it away, but will instead reduce heat loss by 45% and the cost of water heating by 9%.

I need discipline.

Your water heater’s efficiency and longevity may increase drastically if you set it to maintain a consistent temperature. For every 10º you lower it, there is a 5% energy savings.

Set the temperature once, and leave it alone unless you’re leaving down. Then turn the dial to the “Vacation” setting (festive, right?) to lower the power used while you’re gone.

Can we start over?

Sediments build up in your tank over time, clogging the system and generally decreasing efficiency. This dirt settles on the bottom and if left unchecked for too long, can cause permanent damage to your water heater.

Draining the sediment is a quick task that is best performed once a year to keep your water heater running at top efficiency.

Beauty is only tank-deep.

Your water heater may look fine on the outside, but what’s going on beneath that smooth metal exterior? Open it up and take a peek inside to ensure that all is as it should be.

The anode rod dangles inside the tank, preventing rust. The rod needs to be replaced every 1 – 3 years. You’ll be able to tell when it’s time if the rod has a lot of exposed steel wire, is covered with calcium buildup or is less than 1/2 inch thick. Remember, a new anode rod ($10 – $30) is far cheaper than a new water heater.

We hope you, your houseguests and even your water heater have a happy holiday season, and a wonderful new year!