Water Heater Insulation Benefits and Steps, Part 1

For homeowners dealing with a number of different plumbing or water areas, upgrades to the system are beneficial in more than one way. One great example here is the water heater – a more efficient water heater will not only provide better quality and greater comfort for homeowners, but will also lead to cost savings that allow you these benefits without a huge bill at the end of the month.

At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re happy to provide a wide range of water heater services to all our clients, from water heater repair to comprehensive replacement, including installation of modern tankless water heater systems. One major area we often recommend to clients, and are happy to assist with as-needed, to improve water heater efficiency: Insulating the heater during the winter period we’re just entering, which can have an enormous impact on heat loss and other important variables. This two-part blog series will dig into all the reasons why you should consider insulating your water heater, plus some basic tips for performing this task if you want to DIY it.

water heater insulation benefits

Why Insulation Matters

Like any other area of the home, your water heater can benefit significantly from insulation during the colder months. Newer tanks will likely already come complete with insulation, but older ones may not have it.

If you are using an older model with no insulation, you might be shocked at the level of impact it will have. Strong water heater tank insulation will reduce your standby heat loss by up to 45% compared to the previous level, an effect that saves homeowners 10% or even up to 15% on their heating costs instantly. This means that such insulation, which is not very expensive at all, will pay for itself within a few months or a year at most.

Precautions and Areas to Check

A couple simple precautions or areas to keep an eye on before you insulate the water heater:

  • If your current water heater has leaks or other damage, it should not be insulated. Rather, you should call our pros for water heater repair before considering this move, which might not be entirely safe or effective with leaks present.
  • Before purchasing from another source, contact your local utility company to see if they offer water heater insulation blankets for a low price or provide rebates – this is common among some utility companies, who might even install one for you.
  • If your water heater is an electric model, you should be considering insulation not only around the tank, but also underneath it to prevent heat loss.

Equipment and Items Needed

Here are the items or equipment you’ll need for this task:

  • A tape measure
  • A marker and scissors
  • Your insulation material, often a water heater insulation blanket and accompanying kit
  • Electrical tape or another approved tape (often included in kits)
  • Gloves and a quality dust mask
  • A second person to assist you with certain parts of the job

Part two of our series will go over the steps to competing this job. For more on this or any of our plumbing services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.