This water heater guide covers blanket insulation, its purpose and the water heater insulation cost. Installing a water heater blanket is easy and affordable. It will significantly reduce energy use and lower the cost of heating water in your home. Insulation blankets are sometimes referred to as jackets because of the way they wrap around the hot water tank. Insulating your water heater will save enough on utility costs to pay for itself in a year or less.
Reasons to Insulate the Water Heater
The US Department of Energy projects that annual energy savings from adding an insulating blanket to your water heater will be $20 to $45 based on the size of the water heater, where it is located, your climate and your hot water usage.
The blanket of insulation slows the process of standby heat loss. This occurs when water is heated and then not used. It begins to cool off in the tank and may have to be heated repeatedly before being used. A blanket will reduce standby heat loss by 25% to 45% depending on several factors including the thickness of the water heater insulating blanket you select.
Recommended Insulation Levels for Water Heater Insulation
The rule of thumb is that the higher the R-value, the more you’ll save. So, that’s the recommendation – add the highest R-value insulating jacket available. You’ll likely find them in a range from R-4 to R-10.
Types of Insulation Used in Water Heater Insulation
Water heater blankets or jackets are almost always made from fiberglass wool with a facing of plastic or vinyl.
Consider Insulating Hot Water Pipes Too
Adding foam insulating tubes around hot water pipes will reduce standby heat loss of hot water sitting in the pipes between the water heater and points of use such as a faucet, shower, dishwasher or clothes washer. Installing the water pipe insulation to exposed pipes in the basement and other locations is affordable and will pay for itself quickly. The cost for adding hot water pipe insulation is $0.75 to $1.50 per foot, depending on whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor.
Water Heater Insulation Costs
Depending on the capacity of the water heater and the R-value of the product you choose, your water heater insulating blanket cost will be $20 to $75.
More Insulation Types & Locations