You may have heard that wrapping your water heater with an insulation blanket specifically made for water tanks. Some people call them water heater covers or wraps, but whatever you call them, the purpose is to keep the water heater tank warmer so that it doesn't have to work so hard to keep the water inside the tank hot.
But, do they really work and are these water heater blankets worth it?
The answer depends on the age of your water heater and how cold of a climate do you live in?
Age Of Your Water Heater
If you have an older water heater, an insulated wrap may be useful to keep it from working so hard which in the end may extend it's lifespan and help to reduce the amount of electricity or gas the water heater is using to keep the water inside of it hot.
But newer water heaters are fairly well insulated and they wouldn't need the extra padding.
Here's a little test - put your hand on your water heater tank. Is it cool? Is it warm? Is it hot?
Well, we can tell you that if the tank is warm or hot - then it's loosing heat, which is not a good thing. In this case, we would recommend to call in a professional plumber to assess if you would need a new water heater.
Severely Cold Climates And Water Heaters
Your water heater will work harder if you live in a very cold climate like Michigan or Canada. So, it would make sense to wrap that water tank in an insulation blanket. Here, in Georgia we don't have to deal with those kinds of temperatures and even if the northern part of Georgia mountains did experience severely cold temperatures it doesn't last for very long.
How Much Do Water Heater Blankets Save?
Generally speaking, an insulated blanket could save you anywhere from 7% - 16% in water heating costs in the course of a year. It may not seem like much but considering that the cost of the blanket is anywhere from about $20.00 to $35.00 - it's a savings that could easily add up in time.
What Kind Of Water Heater Wrap To Buy?
If you do decide that you want to purchase and use a water heater insulation blanket then the next step is to decide what kind to get.
Our advice is to search for one that has an R Value of 11 - which is the highest available. (After all, if you're going to do it - then do it right!)
The "R Value" is the measure of how effective the insulation in the product is. The higher the R Value - the better insulated the wrap is.
The other issue to consider when deciding what type of insulation wrap to use is what it's made of? Most use fiberglass and vinyl but there are some made with recycled denim (if you're looking for a green type of product).
How Do You Install A Water Heater Blanket?
Look for a water heater wrap that comes in a kit. This will come with instructions to help you through the process.
But there are some precautions we want to tell you about.
- If you have an electric or gas water heater - make sure not to cover the thermostat or the heating element control.
- Also - do not cover the drain valve, pressure reliev valve or the overflow drain tube.
- Additionally for a gas water heater - you want to make sure not to cover the flue, the air flow to the gas burner or the draft diverter.
If you have any problems or questions about water heaters, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We Offer Water Heater Services in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County.
Acworth GA, Atlanta GA, Austell GA, Cartersville GA, Doraville GA, Douglasville GA, Hiram GA, Kennesaw GA, Lawrenceville GA, Lithia Springs GA, Loganville GA, Mableton GA, Marietta GA, Powder Springs GA, Rockmart GA, Roswell GA, Smyrna GA, Tucker GA, Villa Rica GA, Vinings GA, Woodstock GA, and Surrounding Communities.