November 24, 2022

Reasons Why Your Water Heater Is Inefficient

professional troubleshooting an inefficient water heater 1

Having an inefficient water heater in your home can be extremely frustrating when it ends up costing you a fortune in utility bills each month, but still fails to provide you with a warm shower on a regular basis.

The leading water heater maintenance team at ICE Heating & Cooling is here to help! Read on to learn about what makes your water heater inefficient, signs of inefficiency, and what you as a homeowner can do to get the most out of your water heater.

Why Is My Water Heater Inefficient?

There are several factors that impact water heater efficiency. Here are the usual suspects for when your system isn’t performing as it should.


Water heater technology is advancing all the time. Even if your water heater is 7 years old, it’s not nearly as efficient as a new model. You should expect a water heater to last about 10-15 years before it’s time to replace it.

At ICE, we’ll always try to repair your current water heater before recommending a replacement. However, there comes a time when it is wiser to invest in a modern, energy-efficient model. Not only will you never worry about inflated energy bills, but you can rest assured that your new water heater will never leave you waiting on the warm water to start flowing.


Do you know when was the last time you had professional water heater maintenance? Sediment collects from the natural minerals in the water and when it settles in your tank, it creates a barrier between the water and the heating element. This means your water heater has to work even harder just to do a mediocre job.

When we come in for routine maintenance, we always make sure to flush out the water heater tank. This gets rid of all the sediment that’s collected along the bottom and sides so your water heater will require less energy to keep the water hot.

It’s A Gas Water Heater

Running a gas water heater is less efficient than an electric water heater. There is more energy lost with a gas water heater because when the gas is vented, some of the heat is lost along with it. However, bills are less expensive with gas water heaters, which is why they’re popular.

Lack Of Insulation

If your water heater tank is warm when you touch it, ask us about fitting an insulating jacket over it. You could save up to 16% on bills just by doing this.


Leaks can happen for a whole host of different reasons. Even if the leak is a small one, you should still contact water heater repair experts like those at ICE to remedy it before the problem gets worse. Leaks in your water heater will not only make it inefficient but can even make it stop functioning altogether.

Your ICE Heating & Cooling technician will have a good look and advise you whether a repair is best, or whether you need a water heater replacement.

Incorrect Installation

Who installed your water heater? It’s vital to get a licensed, professional water heater service provider to ensure energy efficiency as well as safety. If your water heater wasn’t measured properly for your home, that could be the reason it’s inefficient and keeps leaving you without hot water so often. Call ICE and get a correct water heater installation right away!

Do Hot Water Heaters Lose Efficiency?

They certainly do. If you do not have water heater maintenance performed every 6-12 months, the sediment buildup and any other unnoticed issues will likely cause its performance to steadily worsen.

In order to keep everything running at 100%, the vital components of your water heater like the temperature pressure relief valve and the anode rod need to be inspected on an annual basis. You need to make sure your anode rod isn’t covered in lime deposits like in the image below.

do hot water heaters lose efficiency

How Can I Increase The Efficiency Of My Water Heater?

There are some easy things you can do to make your current water heater more efficient.

  • Get your water heater serviced by ICE Heating & Cooling and we can advise you on what’s making it sluggish.

  • Insulate the tank if possible.

  • Insulate the pipes.

  • Turn down your thermostat. Your water heater may well be heating to a way higher temperature than you actually need if you’ve never adjusted the manufacturer’s settings.

How Do I Know If My Water Heater Is Efficient?

Take a look at the yellow energy label on your water heater. It will estimate how much you’ll spend on your water heater over the course of a year.

It will also show the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF). This relates to how efficiently heat is transferred to the water, and how much heat is lost along the way.

What you’re looking for is a high UEF number.

You can get good gas and electric water heaters from 0.65 at the lowest up to the most efficient at about 0.95. Serious about investing in energy efficiency? A hybrid electric heat pump water heater could have a UEF rating as high as 3.5.

Why Is My Water Only Hot For A Few Minutes?

There are several reasons for this.

You could have lots of sediment at the bottom of your tank.

Alternatively, your water heater tank could be too small for your home. There could also be a faulty dip tube or a broken heating element. Whatever the reason, our technicians will find out the cause and help you find a lasting, comprehensive solution.

Does Cold Weather Affect A Water Heater?

Yes, definitely. Your water heater has to work even harder to produce the same amount of hot water. It’s often during the winter months when you’ll really notice an inefficient water heater and suffer breakdowns.

Also, in winter there’s a risk of pipes freezing which can lead to ruptures and leaks.

Choosing A New And Efficient Water Heater

If it’s really time to replace your water heater, our team can show you your best options for a new and efficient water heater. We can help you choose a gas or electric water heater that suits your family’s needs, budget, and environmental concerns.

Inefficient Water Heater? Call ICE Heating & Cooling

Nobody should have to put up with an inefficient water heater. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get, and the more your bills will rise too. Just call our friendly team for scheduling professional water heater services.

Want to know more first? Read about our water heater maintenance, repairs and installation services on our website.

Call us today at (702) 820-2184 or send us an email.

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