Hot Tips to Outsmart the Season

Posted on November 16, 2013 by noritz

Winterize Your Hot Water Heater & More


With old man winter just around the corner, it’s important to take some precautions before the temperature significantly drops.

As ground temperatures get colder, older tank-style water heaters are challenged to raise incoming water temperatures to sufficiently satisfy demands for hot morning showers. In colder climates, the disparity between the incoming and desired water temperature—say from 45F degrees to 110F degrees—can cause significant stress on water heaters and will increase the likelihood of water heater failure. This is especially true for older, tank-style heaters with sediment build-up, which forces your heater work even harder to achieve the same level of heating (sediment lowers heat transfer efficiency).


Considering a Tankless Water Heater? Why Wait?

So before the colder weather sets in, it’s a perfect time to consider replacing an old tank-style water heater. Although most tank water heaters last 10-12 years, it’s best to start shopping now for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Here’s an infographic designed to guide you through a water heater replacement and keeping those showers hot!

If you already use a tankless heater (and we’re happy you are), preparing ahead is still smart and may save you from damage not covered under warranty. This is important, especially if you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Below are some tips to transition your tankless water heater for the colder season:

  1. To reduce the likelihood of freezing in unoccupied spaces, completely drain the water from the plumbing system (shut off the water and open the taps). Noritz America offers specific technical advice for winterizing your Noritz tankless water heater. You can also check your manufacturer’s manual for step-by-step instructions.
    • If you have a recirculation pump, increase its use, especially during the colder, evening hours. This keeps your tankless heater and water pipes in motion, lessening the likelihood of freeze issues.

Beyond the Water Heater: Block, Turn it down, and Bundle Up

The winter season also brings a great opportunity to think — or re-think — strategically about your energy consumption during the winter. offers a few tips to help reduce your bill during the colder months:

  1. Block the Drafts: A draft snake, which can be bought or easily made from a rolled bath towel, is a great way to prevent drafts underneath doors.
  2. Run Fans in Reverse: Many fans come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it warmer. (We’re not kidding! Who knew?)
  3. Install Storm Doors and Windows: By sealing drafts and reducing airflow, storm doors can increase energy efficacy while also offering greater flexibility for letting light and ventilation enter your home.
  4. Turn down the Heat: Turning down the heat when you leave the building can help you save between 1 and 3% of your heating bill for every degree you lower the thermostat during the heating season.
  5. Put on a Sweater: It may be common sense, but according to, a light long-sleeved sweater is worth about 2 degrees in added warmth while a heavy sweater can add about 4 degrees. So put away your shorts and grab your woolies!
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