As winter approaches, we typically publish various blog articles with helpful advice on getting important appliances and equipment ready for winter – lawn mowers, boats, RVs. Home heating systems would also be included in this group, except when winter comes, you’re doing the opposite - taking measures to get it ready for extended use in the winter.
One home system that is increasing in popularity are tankless water heaters. These systems do not store water internally; instead, they heat water instantly as it passes through the system. They turn out to be more efficient and cost-effective than traditional water heater.
Today, we have a contribution from freelance writer Sally Perkins, who gives Bell blog readers some helpful considerations on protecting tankless water heater systems this winter.
Cold Weather Maintenance: 3 Ways To Protect Your Tankless Water Heater This Winter
Winter is almost here, and homeowners all over the country are gearing up to protect their homes before the chill sets in. One of the best ways to stay warm and save money over the winter is to install a tankless water heater. Not only does it provide you with hot water on demand, but it is also more efficient than standard or conventional water heaters. Consider the fact that a seven-year-old tank heater runs at about 60% efficiency, while a tankless model of the same age runs at up to 75% efficiency. While it may cost a little more than a standard heater, having a tankless water heater in your home can save you money in the long run and will enable you to enjoy hot showers all throughout the winter. This is why it is imperative to protect and care for your heater to keep it in good condition for a long time.
How cold weather can damage your water heater
Cold weather can do a number on your water heating system. Not only will it cause the plumbing leading to and from your tankless water heater to freeze, but it can also damage the internal parts of your system. However, you can thaw a frozen water heater by turning off the electrical power, closing the gas and water shutoff valves and waiting for the unit to thaw. Never attempt to operate your water heater if you suspect that it has frozen. For more ways to protect your tankless water heater this winter, follow these tips.
Flush your water heater
Experts recommend flushing your water heater to get rid of accumulated sediment that can affect its performance. To flush your tankless unit, shut off the electricity and the water supply and use a hose and bucket to do it. If you’re not comfortable doing this by yourself, a contractor can flush your heater for you.
Insulate the external pipes
You can protect your water heater’s external plumbing and valves by insulating the external pipes. Insulation materials offer protection from the cold weather and these are readily available in hardware and online stores.
Get rid of limescale build-up
You may find that your tankless water heater has a light coating of limescale buildup. This can have a negative impact on the efficiency of your unit and can even shorten the lifespan of your water heater. To remove build-up the natural way, use white vinegar to clean your water heating system.
Follow these tips to protect your tankless water heater for the upcoming cold weather. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll continue to enjoy having hot water for years to come.
This post was published on November 17, 2017 and was updated on December 4, 2017.