One of the easiest ways we know to cut down on wintertime energy costs is to insulate your water heater. Following are some tips on why and how to do it.
When to Insulate
If your water tank is new, it’s probably already insulated. Insulate around an older water heater to reduce standby heat losses by 25-45 percent. That could save you 7-16 percent of water-heating costs.
- If your water heater has an R-value of at least 24, you’re fine. If not, then add insulation.
- Pre-cut jackets are available, or you can buy blankets and cut them to size.
- Before you begin your project, check for leaks. If you find a leak, you will need to replace the appliance.
With electric water heaters, you can insulate under the tank by adding bottom board or a ridged piece of insulation to prevent heat loss into the floor, saving an additional 4-9 percent of water heating costs. The optimum time for doing this is when you install a new appliance.
- Turn off the appliance. For gas units, turn the gas valve to “pilot.” For electric heaters, turn the breaker off.
- To fit blankets, measure the height of the tank and cut the blanket to fit. Don’t add insulation to the top of the unit, and don’t block the vent on top of gas units.
- After wrapping the blanket around the tank, tape it in place temporarily, leaving access panels free.
- Using a marker, denote the areas where controls are and cut them out. With gas units, make openings around gas valves and burners at least 1 inch wider than the burner and valve area. For electric units, leave holes for the two panels on the side of the tank. Cut holes for the pressure relief valve and the pipe. Line everything up carefully, then tape the blanket permanently.
- Turn the water heater on. The thermostat on electric units shouldn’t be above 130 degrees.
For more on bundling up your water heater, contact Aggressive Mechanical. We’ve served Monmouth County for more than three generations.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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