Improve Your Water Heater’s Energy Efficiency and Save Money!
Learn how to improve your water heater’s efficiency and perhaps even lower your utility bills.
There are a few ways to help prolong your water heater’s life and keep it in top working order. Following these six tips, each year may help you have a longer tank life expectancy, lower energy bills, and minimize damage due to water leakage.
1. Know where your water heater is located
Not only should you know where the water heater is, but you should also have clear access to it, as sometimes it’s tucked away in an attic or basement. The plumbing is not easy to reach.
2. Know what type of water heater you have
You should know whether your water heater is natural gas, electric, or propane, or whether it’s a storage tank type or a tankless type water heater. Please write down the model number and the serial number of your water heater or know where this information is on the tank. It has the age and gallon capacity coded into it.
3. Know how to turn off the water
It’s a good idea to know how to shut off the water and the fuel or power supply to the water heater before you’re facing a water heater dilemma. This is important in an emergency or if your water heater is leaking or you smell gas. There should be a gas valve or a disconnect switch within a few feet of the water heater. It’s also a good idea to know where your main gas shut-off valve is or which breaker is used for the water heater.
As for the water shut-off, most shut-off valves are located above the water heater on the cold side piping. It would help if you also located your water shut-off valve coming into your home. If you need any special tools to turn any of the valves off or to open the breaker box, keep those nearby and in clear sight. This will make all the difference when you have water leaking all over or if you smell gas, and time is of the essence.
4. Clear the area around your water heater
There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to give your water heater some space.
- A gas-fired unit needs a good supply of oxygen to burn the gas. If a water heater is smothered and can’t get enough oxygen, it can affect the efficiency of the unit as well as cause damage to the burner chamber and other water heater parts. It can even cause carbon monoxide leaks.
- If the unit starts to leak, you may not catch it as soon if the area is hidden from view. This can cause severe water damage and even waste energy as the water heater has to reheat the water more often.
- Storing items too close to the water heater can be a fire hazard.
5. Drain or flush your water heater
It is always a good idea to have a Brother’s plumbing professional drain and flush your water heater at least once a year. If we notice a lot of sediment or debris, then a full flush is recommended.
Nobody thinks that a hot water tank could be a safety concern in their homes. Still, we at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, & Electric know better. Our water heater repair service and water heater replacement service is your solution. We also recommend that once your water heater repair or water heater replacement is completed, your hot water should not exceed 125 degrees F. Exceeding this temperature poses a serious risk of burns, particularly to younger children.
Your water heater is a major energy consumer in your home. If your water heater is more than a few years old, you may consider replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model.
Cold Weather Recommendations
Winter is right around the corner. With winter, comes colder and colder temperatures. Unfortunately, the cold can wreak havoc on your home. Before the onset of cold weather, prepare your home by following these recommendations:
Electrical and HVAC System Cold Weather Preparation
- Reverse your ceiling fans to clockwise to help move the heat around.
- Check and change the batteries in your CO and smoke detectors.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Plumbing Cold Weather Preparation
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following the manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the external valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspapers can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is freezing outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Sometimes Things Happen
Unfortunately, even if you follow the previously mentioned preparation steps to the letter, pipes can still end up freezing and homes can still end up damaged when it gets cold. But don’t fret! Even if you do experience cold weather-related home damage, you can always contact the professionals here at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric for fast and reliable assistance!
Fall 2020 Maintenance Hints, Tips and Reminders
Fall is almost here! With it comes crisp days, long nights and the beginning of the holiday season. While it is easy to get caught up in the pumpkin spice and fun-filled events of the season, it is also essential to make sure your home appliances, plumbing, heating, and electrical systems are all ready to withstand the cold of winter. Luckily, us here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating and Electric have you covered. Follow this simple list of recommended fall maintenance and home preparation hints, tips, and reminders to make sure your property is ready for winter!
More Pre-Winter Hints, Tips, and Reminders
In addition to the hints, tips, and reminders listed above, our home experts recommend you perform the following tasks as well:
- Turn Down Your Water Heater
Turning down your water heater will help to reduce your monthly energy bill during the winter.
- Winterize Plumbing Lines
Merely pouring a small Dixie cup (around 1.5oz) of antifreeze down each of your drains and toilets will help keep your plumbing and water lines from freezing during the winter.
- Contact Us
For anything more complicated, we recommend you give our company a call to come out and give you a hand.
Get In Touch With Us To Schedule Any Services You Need
Some of the hints above are difficult or impossible to perform if you are not a trained professional. Luckily our team of Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric home experts is always standing by to help make sure you are ready for winter. Get in touch with us by calling 303-468-2294 or visiting our Contact Us page today!
How Does Your Air Conditioner Work?
Almost everyone has an air conditioning system these days. However, most people that own an AC system have no idea how it functions. Moreover, knowing a little bit about how air conditioners work can help you know when to call in the HVAC professionals for service, repair, or replacement work. So, how does your air conditioner work? Let’s explore just how your home air conditioning system keeps you cool all summer.
The Air Conditioning Process
The air conditioning process is relatively simple. Air conditioners pull the heat out of the air to help cool a space. They do this in a two-cycle process. The two cycles of air conditioner functionality are:
The Evaporation Cycle in Modern Air Conditioning
The evaporation cycle in modern air conditioning systems is the cycle in which the actual cooling of the air takes place. To accomplish this, your air conditioner passes inside air through a coil filled with supercooled liquid refrigerant. The refrigerant pulls the heat from the air, and then fans distribute the air through your ductwork (or directly into your space if you have a ductless split air conditioning system). After cooling the air, your air conditioning system sends the now gaseous refrigerant to the compression side of the system.
The Compression Cycle in Modern Air Conditioning
The compression cycle is the second primary operation cycle in modern air conditioning systems. It works in almost the exact opposite way that the evaporation cycle does.
During this cycle, two things happen. The first thing that happens is that your system will pull outside air through what is known as the condensing coil. This coil contains the gaseous refrigerant from the evaporation cycle. When the outside air is pulled through the coil, the heat from the gaseous refrigerant is transferred to the air. This begins transforming the gaseous refrigerant back to its original liquid form.
However, the coil itself is not enough to fully compress the refrigerant. That is why modern air conditioning systems also use a device known as a compressor to finish the job of transforming the coolant back to a supercooled liquid. Then, once the compression cycle is complete, the refrigerant is transported back to the evaporator side of the machine to start the process all over again.
Protect Your Family With Cleaner Air!
With so many viruses and allergens, we at Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric want to tell you about a piece of equipment we’ve been installing for years, the REME Halo air purification system. We have always recommended air purification systems to those who have respiratory trouble, but we are now also recommending the REME Halo air purifier to all homes. So, if you want cleaner air, this is how we recommend you get it.
Numerous studies by universities, independent laboratories, and major corporations have shown that the RGF REME Halo air purification system is effective in reducing substantial amounts of surface mold and bacteria. And, other findings included:
- Effective against H1N1 swine flu with 99+% kill on surfaces
- 99% of microbes in human sneeze killed at 3 ft
- 97% airborne bacterial reduction
- 99% reductions of e Coli, listeria, strep, tuberculosis, bird flu, etc.
- 85% odor reduction
- 97% airborne mold reduction
- U.S. Military approved for mold protection in field hospitals
- 99% reduction of staph (MRSA)
Live Healthier And Get Cleaner Air With REME Halo Air Purifier
Breathing cleaner air isn’t the only benefit of using an air purifier. By keeping an air purifier running, you can live healthier. Air contaminants can potentially worsen many different health problems, including asthma, headaches, and allergies.
If you feel like air purification services will help you breathe easier, then please do not hesitate to give us a call at (303) 468-2270. Or, for more information visit: https://www.brothersplumbing.com/heating/air-purification/