With energy costs continually on the rise, consumers are looking for every opportunity to save money. And because appliances are one of the biggest sources of energy consumption in a home, it makes sense to be as cost-effective as possible when using them.
A water heater is one appliance that can use a lot of energy- particularly is it’s an older model. While most newer tanks are designed with insulation, older styles are not and losing valuable heat, which in turn costs more money to operate.
According to Energy.Gov, if your hot water tank has an R-value of less than 24, you should consider adding insulation, which will keep the heat inside so the heating element operates less. This can reduce heat loss by approximately 25-45%, saving about 4-9% in water heating costs, or $20-$45 a year. In fact many power and electric companies specifically mention water heater blankets as a means to lower energy consumption and save money. If you don’t know the R-value of your tank, if it’s warm to the touch, it’s loosing standby heat and could benefit from adding insulation.
It’s also smart to consider if your older water heater is in an unfinished space such as a garage, basement, or crawlspace. Let’s say for example your water heater is in your garage and in the winter time the temperature drops to 40°F and your water heater is set to 140°F. That is a huge difference in temperature, and an opportunity for the loss of a significant amount of heat.
While you can buy pre-cut blankets or jackets, making a custom-fit wrap will ensure the best coverage. When you wrap your water heater with EcoFoil reflective insulation you achieve R-4.5 of insulation while reflecting 97% of radiant heat. Installation is simple and requires nothing more than a tape measure and utility knife.
Before you purchase supplies, inspect your tank to make sure it’s not leaking. If so, you’ll need to purchase a new system. Adding insulation to your water heater may void the warranty so you should consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer prior to installing a water heater blanket. Failure to do so may cause significant safety hazards. Do not cover any vents, air intakes, controls, electrical wiring, or pressure relief valve.
EcoFoil products needed for this project include:
How to Insulate a Hot Water Heater Tank:
1. If your water heater is gas, turn the valve to the Pilot position. For electric water heaters, be sure and turn off the breaker at the electric panel.
2. Cut three 2” spacer strips long enough to go around your water heater. Wrap these spacers around the water heater at 2’ intervals.
3. Wrap the water heater with the foil insulation blanket.
4. Cut out around any controls, vents, intakes, and electrical devices.
5. Seal the seam with reflective foil tape.
*IMPORTANT* If you have an electric water heater- do not set the thermostat above 130ºF after the EcoFoil is installed, as you risk overheating the wiring.
For more information on this project, and other money-saving energy tips, visit EcoFoil.com, or call us at 888-349-3645.