Looking for an easy and inexpensive way to lower your home energy costs? Try insulating your hot water heater.
While all water heaters come with a certain amount of insulation built into the tank itself, most can benefit from the addition of a water heater blanket or other form of external insulation. Insulation prevents much of the heat loss that occurs naturally when water sits in the tank for an extended period of time. When stored water begins to cool, the heater automatically fires up to maintain the proper temperature. A water heater with extra insulation is able to retain heat for longer periods, which reduces the amount of energy the unit uses overall.
What kind of savings can you expect? By some estimates, adding insulation to your water heater can reduce heat loss by 25 to 45 percent. That translates into a 4 to 9 percent reduction in what it costs you to heat the water in your home. Since most water heater blankets or kits cost between $10 and $20, your insulation project could pay for itself in less than a year.
As with any home repair project, there are certain safety guidelines that need to be followed.
- Know what kind of water heater you have. Electric and natural-gas water heaters are insulated differently.
- Check the water heater owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to insulate your particular water heater model. Follow manufacturer recommendations.
- Avoid insulating over the thermostat controls or near the drain line. If you have a natural gas water heater, keep the area around the flue and the burner air intake clear.
- Although it’s perfectly acceptable to insulate the bottom of electric water heaters, doing so on a natural gas heater is dangerous. Follow the installation instructions carefully to avoid creating a safety hazard.
For more energy-saving heating, cooling and plumbing solutions in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, contact the friendly pros at Home Comfort Experts.