As we enjoy the last few weeks of nicer weather, it is also time to ready our homes for the coming snow. One of the most important home maintenance precautions to take before the cold sets in is to ensure your water heater is in tip top condition.

Check the temperature and pressure
The lifespan of a water heater depends heavily on the water temperature. If the temperature and pressure are too high it can cause mechanical problems, leaks and subsequently raise your water bill. A recommended temperature to set is 120゚F, and the pressure should be between 40 and 80 psi.

Clean the tank
Whether you hire a plumber or do it yourself it’s actually pretty simple to do. You just need to turn off the power gas, connect a hose to the drain valve and wait for it to empty. Once cleared use cool water to wash out the tank. If neglected, sedimentation can occur and the water will become hard and unhealthy as well as making the heater less efficient.

Check on the Anode Rod
The anode rod protects the metal lining inside of the heating tank from rust and corrosion, and even explosion. This mechanism generally lasts between three five years, but is advised to be checked yearly. If you notice a rusty color or odor to your water you may need to change it earlier as well.

Tank Insulation
Look to your local hardware store for foil blankets to wrap around the appliance. Keeping your water heater insulated helps retain the heat created and use less energy, thus saving you money on your heating bill.

Get it inspected
As with any appliance, it is always a good idea to have a plumber or inspecting professional stop by regularly to make sure everything is in working order. Paying a small upfront fee for a maintenance checkup might save you a lot of money in the long run in preventing the entire system from breaking down.