Do You Need to Insulate Your Water Heater?

A boiler room contains a water heater.

Most homeowners are concerned with energy conservation. After all, a little bit here and there, alongside other conservation efforts, can add up over time. When it comes to your water heater, there are a few things you can do to save some pennies. For starters, you can lower the temperature by a degree or two. Even a small adjustment can lower your bill.

If you’d rather not sacrifice your ideal hot shower temperature, wrapping your water heater with a water heater blanket is another way to conserve. Yes, water heaters should stay warm in the summer, too.

A water heater blanket is a piece of insulated material that aids in keeping your water hot as colder air that surrounds the tank may lower the temperature. Most heaters have some degree of insulation already built in, but depending on the age of your water heater, yours may benefit from additional insulation. That’s where a water heater blanket comes in.

Of course, it’s not really a blanket per se. Rather, a water heater blanket constitutes insulation housed inside sheet plastic for easy attachment to your water heater. Typically sold for around $20, these inexpensive insulation tools are worth the extra cash you’ll save in the long run. Blankets have different values, just like other forms of insulation. If you’re going to use one, we recommend a rating of R-11.

Are Water Heater Blankets Really Worth It?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heater blankets can reduce standby heat loss by 25 to 45 percent. This can yield a 4 to 9 percent savings on your water bill. It’s not a lot, but a penny saved is a penny earned.

Do you really need one? Place your hand on the outside of your water heater. If it feels warm, then purchasing a water heater blanket is worth it with the lower numbers on your bill. When the summer temperatures soon fade to subzero chills, you’ll be especially happy to be saving some cash.

Another way to cut down on hot water expenses is to wrap your hot water pipes. All you need are some self-sealing sleeves that cost only a few dollars. Slip them over easy-to-reach exposed pipes and leave harder-to-reach places, such as crawlspaces, to the professionals. It’s not worth the risk of getting hurt to save a few dollars.

At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Minnesota, we offer complete water heater installation services and water heater maintenance. If you’re unsure about whether you would benefit from insulating your water heater, contact us day or night.

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