Should I Turn Up My Water Heater in the Winter?

March 4, 2022 10:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Winters here in Colorado are nothing to fool around with—it’s sunnier than in many parts of the country, for sure, but that doesn’t mean the colder months are without risk. Snowstorms can blow up out of nowhere and make roads impassable, and the sheer cold can take its toll on you and your family whenever you step outside. You want to keep them comfortable when this type of weather arrives, and part of that is keeping your hot water flowing.

Get Water Heater Repair

We, of course, get more calls about water heater repair in the winter than during any other time of the year, but we also get more questions about DIY maintenance during this time. For example, many people wonder whether they should turn theirs up to make up for the colder weather. This is an interesting question.

Read on for our thoughts on the potential answers.

Lower temperatures aren’t just in the air

When the weather gets colder, the first thing that we feel is a nip in the air; however, this is not the only thing that gets colder. The ground all around us does as well. The ground takes longer than the air to get cold in the winter months, but it still happens.

Since your water pipes pass through this ground, it stands to reason that you’ll be getting water in your intake that’s much colder than water in the spring and summer months. This means that your water heater has to work much harder to warm it up to the temperature you’ve set—and if it labors too hard, it could mean that water heater repair is in your future.

Understanding how cycles work

Extremely cold water that enters your water heater in this manner can have a drastic effect on your heater. First of all, it’s important to remember that it will have a drastic cooling effect on the hot water that’s already in there. This means that your water heater now needs to kick on again to warm up the entire tank, which has now been significantly cooled rather than just slightly cooled as it would be in the summer months. Your tank will work harder if very cold water is constantly cycling into it, and this strain could create the need for water heater repair if you’re not careful.

Turn it up a notch or two

The takeaway from all of this is that you should definitely turn up your heater a few clicks in the winter months. This will reduce its workload as it works to warm up water that’s even colder than usual. If the water in the tank is already hotter, then this arriving cold water will not have as nearly as damaging of an effect. This also lets your appliance run more efficiently and lessens the possibility of needing water heater repair in the future.

If you’re in the market for plumbing services, our team at Affordable Rooter covers everything from water heater repair to sewer line camera inspections, so call us today for your estimate.

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