If you are a homeowner, chances are you are looking for ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
Every little bit helps when it comes to saving money on utility costs. With that in mind, you might want to think about wrapping your tank in a water heater blanket. A water heater blanket can easily pay for itself while also saving you hundreds (possibly even thousands) of dollars in the long run. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether you should invest in a water heater blanket:
What Exactly is a Water Heater Blanket?
As the name suggests, a water heater blanket is an insulated blanket that wraps around your water heater to prevent heat loss while maintaining a consistent temperature.
Most water heater blankets are manufactured from fiberglass with a barrier of vinyl or reflective aluminum. However, if you want a somewhat more environmentally-friendly option, you can get your water heater blanket with recycled denim insulation.
A water heater blanket operates on the same principle that we use to insulate our homes’ walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and windows. The idea is to trap heat inside the tank so that the water heater does not have to work as hard to keep the water inside the tank warm.
How Does a Water Heater Blanket Work?
Your hot water tank has a reserve of water that it heats to a certain temperature. When you turn on a hot water faucet, water is released from the tank, providing you with hot water from the faucet. It is worth noting that the tank must keep its reserve warm at all times for the water to be hot whenever you turn on the faucet.
A water heater blanket functions as insulation for the tank, preventing heat from escaping and lowering the amount of energy consumed by the water heater to keep the water warm for you.
Would a Water Heater Blanket Benefit You?
In general, the older the water heater, the less insulation value it offers.
Hot water tanks that are newer on the market are generally better insulated than older models. This means that most tanks currently installed in homes are not as adequately insulated as the most recent models. However, even the most energy-efficient water heaters cannot completely prevent heat loss.
Touching your tank is the best way to determine whether your water heater would benefit from a water heater blanket. If the tank is warm to the touch, it could benefit from the extra insulation. The warmth you feel indicates that the heat from the tank is escaping.
Those who live in the colder Midwest will, of course, benefit more from a water heater blanket than those who live in the South since more energy, primarily in the form of electricity or natural gas, is required to keep the water in the tank at a set temperature.
Which Water Heater Blanket Is Best for You?
We recommend using a water heater blanket with an R-value of 10 or higher for better insulation, especially for heaters located in cold areas of the house or in areas that are not climate-controlled.
The term R-value refers to the thermal resistance (or insulation effectiveness) of the water heater blanket. The R-value is determined by the material used, as well as its thickness and density.
Is a Hot Water Heater Blanket a Good Investment?
The less insulated your water heater is, or the colder your climate, the more money an insulated water heater blanket can save you. Even if your tank is newer and better insulated, a blanket can lead to significant cost savings.
It is estimated that using a blanket with a typical tank will save you up to 17% on your energy bills. Given that most blankets cost around $30, it may be a worthwhile investment.
*Tip: The pipes are also a source of heat loss, therefore, insulate both your pipes and your tank to save the most money.
Most heater blanket installations are simple and can be done on your own, but if you are unsure or uncomfortable with the installation process, please get in touch with us at E & K Contractors.