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Like any appliance in your home, your water heater is an investment that needs to be correctly maintained. A well-maintained water heater can keep your utility costs down, eliminate the risk of damage from leaks and will keep you and your family in hot water—in a good way. Thankfully, you don’t have to keep guessing when it comes to maintaining your water heater. These tips will ensure that your water heater will last for years to come.

Choose the Right Option for Your Home
With so many options on the market, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and assume that every water heater is the same. However, ensuring that your investment lasts starts with making sure you have the right type of water heater for your household. Do your research to find out if a conventional, hybrid or tankless water heater would fit your needs best. Make sure you explore your options within those categories. Since each option has its pros and cons depending on your climate, water usage and the area your water heater will be located, it can be worth it to consult an expert. Don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a plumber who can consult about the best option before installing.

Keep the Surrounding Area Clear
Whether your water heater is located in a closet or in your basement or garage, it can be tempting to let clutter creep around the space. This is a mistake that can damage your water heater and your beloved box of Christmas ornaments in the process. Your water heater works hard. Gas-fired units need oxygen to burn the gas and hybrid water heaters use the heat in the air to heat water. This means they require 1,000 cubic feet of space to ensure enough ambient air is available for efficient operation. Aside from the risks to your water heater, storing items too close can be a fire hazard and a leak can mean water damage for any surrounding belongings.

Schedule an Annual Inspection
Annual inspections can be easy to push to the back burner, but they shouldn’t be neglected. Inspect your water heater yearly and be sure you know the signs that indicate your water heater is about to fail. Additionally, be sure to flush the water heater at least every two years to control mineral build-ups that can cause damage or prevent efficiency. If your water heater is older, plan to schedule either a repair or a replacement, if necessary.