I always took my home's heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.
Few things can ruin your morning more than getting stuck with a cold shower because your hot water heater died. You can prevent this and prolong the life of your heater by knowing three major mistakes –and how to avoid them – that can affect your unit.
#1: Skipping the insulation blanket
The hot water tank can loose a lot of heat through its sides. This means that the elements have to run constantly to maintain the set water temperature inside of the tank. Not only does this lead to higher energy usage and the attendant bills, it also can cause the heating elements to wear out more quickly from overuse. Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this – the water heater insulation blanket. You can get these blankets from hardware stores. You cut them to fit around your water heater, then seal them in place with foil HVAC tape. If the process seems too complicated or time consuming, a plumber or HVAC contractor will do it for you.
#2: Not installing an overflow safety valve
Although rare, pressure or steam can sometimes build up in the tank due to either failure of the tank or an issue with the incoming water or power. This can be catastrophic if you don't have the proper safety on your tank. Most hot water heaters have a pressure safety valve on the top that will let out steam so the tank doesn't explode in the event of a problem. Unfortunately, many homeowners don't have the pipe installed to route the steam as possible overflowing hot water towards the floor. With this missing, the steam will shoot toward a wall or a ceiling, where the force can punch holes and cause major damage. Make sure you have the proper relief pipes installed on your valve.
#3: Never flushing the system
Sediment builds up in the hot water tank over time. The main source is minerals in the water, which evaporate out in the hot tank and adhere to the sides. Over time, this sediment can minimize the amount of water in the tank or cover elements, causing more wear and tear as the tank tries to function. Flushing the water and sediment out of the tank every year or two solves this issue. The elements are turned off, the old water and sediment is drained, then fresh water is flushed through to wash out the remaining sediment before everything is closed back off and the heat is turned back on.
For more help, contact a contractor in your area.Share
15 June 2017