a water heater in wintry weather

Prepping Your Water Heater for Winter

Winter is finally here! With many days still topping out in the 60s, it’s not too late to prep your home for when the cooler, even freezing, weather sets in. One appliance that often gets overlooked is your water heater. You use it every day, but don’t notice it until something goes wrong. In this post, we’ll take a look at a few tips that can make sure it keeps running strong all winter long.


Most water heaters are in your garage, or a closet in your garage, which means they can get much colder than inside your home. Granted, you’re not likely to have prolonged temperatures below freezing in your garage, but it’s still a good idea to make sure that the foam insulation on the water lines in and out of your water heater are secure. Freezing may cause the pipes to burst, but even cool pipes will cost you money to reheat every time you turn on the faucet. Any home improvement store sells the insulation, and it’s easy to install. If yours looks old or worn, it’s a good idea to replace it.


The thermostat on your water heater is deceptively important. There’s no reason to set it at a temperature that’s way hotter than what you need. Not only is it potentially dangerous, but it’s also a waste of energy and money. Check to make sure the thermostat isn’t above 120 degrees.


Securing all the connections on your hot water heater will increase safety and efficiency. A simple twist of a valve may be something you can do on your own, but there are some connection issues that require a pro. For example, if you have damaged hoses, smell gas, or have any electrical issues, you should definitely call a certified plumber like ours at City Plumbing. 


Similar to your HVAC, your water heater has a drain pan meant to catch the water that may leak from the appliance. Failure to catch a leak could lead to big problems. Cracks or erosion in the tank can lead to small leaks, which will only grow without maintenance. Regularly check the drain pan and make sure it is dry!


Flushing your water heater means draining the entire tank. This will get rid of any residue that may have built up inside. Too much build-up can have a negative impact on your water heater’s efficiency. Draining the tank can be as simple as attaching a garden hose to the front valve, and putting the other end in a gutter. Just shut off the heater and let the water drain out. You can also use a bucket to catch some of the water and look for any residue.


Your water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home, and City Plumbing can help you make sure it’s running strong. Make an appointment today by calling 432-366-2401, and we’ll give your heater a tune-up! We also install tankless water heaters! Give us a call and we’ll come running!

HVAC Units Set To Last

4 Factors That Determine How Long Your HVAC Will Last

Your HVAC is one of those things that you hope you don’t have to worry about – ever. But the reality is that most units need to be replaced around every 15-20 years. In this post, we’ll explore just how long your HVAC unit should last, and some ways you can help yours last longer!


Not all HVAC units are created equal. You can typically expect furnaces to last about 15-20 years, and heat pumps around 16 years. Air conditioners can quit a little sooner – in about 10 to 15 years. Electric or gas heaters last about 10 years, and tankless water heaters about 20. Thermostats can last up to 35 years.

Here are a few of the factors that impact how long the components of your HVAC will last:

  • Maintenance: HVAC units require regular maintenance. Only getting service when something goes wrong will reduce the life of your unit. Licensed professionals, like the ones at City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning, can identify problems and prevent them from getting worse. Regular maintenance will also increase your unit’s efficiency, keeping your energy costs low.
  • Air filters: If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. Regularly changing your air filters will do wonders for your HVAC system. Once every month is a good rule to follow, but once every three months is pretty much mandatory. If you don’t clean out your filters, this causes air to be restricted as it flows through your system, making it work harder, and costing you money!
  • Climate: Here in West Texas, we’re lucky. Our summers aren’t too humid, our winters are relatively mild, and we usually have a temperate spring and fall. That means the total time we spend running either heat or cold is less than, say, a midwest city with extreme heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter. Of course, your A/C probably saw a lot of wear and tear this summer, with temps in the 90s or hotter for what seemed like 8 months straight. You want to stay comfortable, but programming your thermostat to fit your climate will help you get the most out of your HVAC!
  • Technology: Advances in technology are so frequent these days that you may choose to get an upgrade to your HVAC even while your current system is still running great. For example, programmable thermostats that work with your cell phone are just one advancement that is an option for homeowners looking to maximize value and efficiency.


City Plumbing does more than just plumbing! Our HVAC technicians can give your entire system a tune-up, and let you know if any additional maintenance is needed! We can also keep you up-to-date on the latest technology that could be perfect for your home. Make an appointment today by calling 432-366-2401. Give us a call, and we’ll come running!