01 Oct Properly Insulating Your Water Heater Saves Energy Dollars
Most homeowners know what a hot water tank looks like and perhaps what size it is, but that’s about the extent of it. How do you know if your tank is working efficiently, or if it’s losing heat?
First of all, let’s explain the inner workings of your hot water tank. Inside the outer tank is an inner tank that is full of (hopefully) hot water. Around the inner tank is some type of insulation to help hold the heat inside so that the water stays hot, and the heat doesn’t escape into your home. This could be a good thing in cold Michigan winter months, not so much in warm summer months as it could actually heat up your home further. While some insulation is high quality, some is simply cheap – and there is no such thing as “perfect” insulation.
How do you know if the insulation inside your tank is doing its job? A simple test. Even with the best insulation, your hot water tank will feel slightly warm to the touch; if it feels very warm or even too warm to touch, heat is escaping. What to do? Consider insulating your tank using a water heater blanket and adding insulation to the bottom of the tank, where downward heat loss occurs. How do you accomplish this?
First of all, look for the R-value on a sticker on your hot water tank; if the insulation R-value is lower than 24, insulating your tank shouldn’t cost much. Before you purchase a water heater insulation kit, contact your energy company who may be able to help you out by selling the kit to you for around $10, or even giving it to you at no cost. Don’t worry if you cannot locate the R-value on your water heater – it’s a simple matter to find it by keying in your model along with the words “R-value” on Google.
If your energy company does not offer insulation kits you should be able to find one at a local hardware store. Hot water heater blankets usually come pre-cut, so measure the circumference and height so that you will know the proper dimensions when shopping for your blanket.
No, insulating your water heater won’t save you hundreds of dollars per year, but after you save enough on energy to cover the cost of the blanket (usually 1 to 4 years, depending on your model), you will be steadily saving little by little – and we all know that every penny adds up!
At Haley Mechanical, we’re all about saving you on energy costs and creating a comfortable home for your family. Serving SE Michigan since 1998, we invited those in the Dexter, Ann Arbor and surrounding areas to contact us with your needs.