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Protecting Water Heaters From the Cold Weather With Insulation

Water Heater Insulation Creates a More Efficient Appliance

When people think about needing insulation, they are likely to think of a home’s walls, ceilings, or attic space. However, insulating a water heater can also reduce energy usage and save homeowners money. This article will discuss water heater insulation and when it may be needed. 

Heat Loss and Energy Costs: Reasons to Insulate a Hot Water Heater

insulatingWhether a home has a gas water heater or an electric water heater, both can experience heat losses. One of the main ways that a water heater wastes energy is through standby heat loss.  This is the energy lost when the water heater attempts to maintain the water's temperature in the hot water tank while no hot water is being used. 

Colder weather means that the temperature in the house and the water entering the water heater may be cooler than usual. This means it will be more difficult for the water heater to keep the water at the same temperature. It will take more energy, lead to higher utility bills, and can lead to even more heat loss. Insulating the water heater can reduce the standby heat losses by as much as 45% and save homeowners about 7%–16% in water heating costs, according to the US Department of Energy.

Signs a Home’s Hot Water Tank Should Be Insulated

Not every water heater needs extra insulation. Many newer water heaters are well equipped with insulated walls already, but several factors can contribute to the need for water heater insulation. Some indicators a water heater should be insulated include:

  • Age: If a water heater is new, it likely doesn’t need extra insulation, but older models typically don’t have the proper insulation built in. 
  • Hot to Touch: A homeowner can see if their water heater needs insulation by touching it. If they can feel the heat through the hot water tank, the appliance could benefit from insulation.
  • R-Value: Homeowners should verify that the water heater’s r-value, or the amount of heat the insulation keeps in, is above 24. If the r-value is below 24, the water heater should be insulated.

The Insulation Process

insulationThere are pre-cut insulation materials made for water heaters which make insulating water heaters easier. They are often called water heater jackets or water heater blankets. Here are the steps in the insulation process:

  • Purchase the proper size insulating blanket. 
  • Turn off the water heater.
  • Mark any spots on the blanket that may need to be cut or trimmed to prevent covering valves and pipes.
  • Cut out marked spots.
  • Use electrical tape to apply the blanket to the water heater.
  • Take extra care not to cover the top of a gas water heater.
  • Turn on the water heater.

About Lodder Brothers Limited

Lodder Brothers Limited has over 40 years of experience serving Guelph, ON, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat rate pricing, a maintenance program, and a 2-year guarantee on plumbing repairs. Call them today for water heater services in Guelph, ON.

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Lodder Brothers Limited - Logo