Encountering trouble with a water heater during the wintertime is actually pretty common. True, we don’t have as frigid temperatures as our neighbors in the Midwest and Northeast, but our winters still pack quite the punch. And if you’re noticing that you have to wait longer for warm water to come out of your faucets this winter, then the weather is probably to blame.
Read on as we uncover what happens to your water heater in the winter, and what you can do about it. If you’re experiencing trouble that goes beyond what you can handle, please give our professionals a call. We are highly trained and experienced when it comes to this service, and ready to help!
How Winter Can Impact Your Water Heater
The cold winter weather in our area of Washington can put a significant strain on your water heater, through:
- Standby Heat Loss: If you’re like most homeowners, your water heater is in a part of your home that doesn’t exactly see a lot of heat. Your garage perhaps, or your basement if you have one, is usually home to this system. What happens is that the cold air surrounding your water heater tank allows heat from inside to escape faster. As a result, your water heater will run longer to try to compensate, and you’ll likely notice it takes longer to get hot water from your faucets—which brings us to the second point…
- Cold Water: The freshwater entering your home from the main water line is going to be a lot colder during the wintertime! This means that the water your water heater receives is going to be cold right from the start. It makes it harder for your water heater to adequately heat the water up because of this.
- Increased Water Use: Who doesn’t want to take longer, hotter showers during the winter? This is understandable, however, it does contribute to a harder working water heater during the wintertime.
How Can You Help Your Water Heater Out?
- Insulate the Tank and Pipes: Just like any other pipe in your home, if the water heater pipes and tank are not insulated, it makes sense that they’re going to get colder, faster. Adding even a little insulation to the tank of your water heater and the pipes connected to it will help keep heat where it belongs (inside the water heater tank). Insulation ensures that the water won’t cool off while it’s headed from the tank to the taps in your home.
- Consider Upgrading: If you have an aging water heater, it can begin suffering from efficiency and efficacy problems no matter what time of the year it is. If you notice a drastic decline in the performance of your water heater, and it’s over a decade old, it’s time to consider if it would make the most economic sense to have it replaced now.
- Have Your Water Heater Professionally Maintained: During maintenance, we will flush out your water heater to get rid of harmful scaling, and check for any component problems that may impact the efficacy of your water heater, during winter or any other time of year. We recommend you have this service done once a year, so if you haven’t called for a water heater tune-up since last winter or longer, now is the time!