Insulation blanket or insulation jacket is used on water tank heaters to reduce the standby heat loss or energy wasted during the heating process.
Buying a hot water heater blanket makes sense if you have an older electric unit.
It is easy to test is your water heater losing the heat and wasting energy. Simple touch the outer surface. If it feels warm, your tank needs additional insulation. We suggest you buy an insulation blanket with the higher "R" value (at least R-8).
Some manufacturers like AO Smith or Bradford White are designing water heaters to meet or exceeds National Appliance Energy Conservation Act standards concerning the insulation and standby loss requirements. The insulation is thick enough, so the standby heat loss is minimal and additional insulation unnecessary.
These water heaters are equipped with 2" thick foam and R 8.33 or higher insulation value, therefore significantly reducing the energy waste and heat loss.
Every manufacturer explains rules in their manuals when covering water heater with the insulation jacket, so warranty in some cases can be voided if you don't follow the instructions.
Here are the general instructions that cover important points of the unit, and which can be affected by the improper water heater blanket installation, lack of the access, restriction of the air flow, heater malfunction or even a fire:
Insulation blankets are on a long run a good investment, especially these days when we have rising energy costs. You can reduce the energy consumption by up to 10 % and make your unit greener with CO2 reduction as well.
You can buy a water heater blanket at Home Depot, Lowe's or any other hardware store, or online like Amazon. For less than 20 bucks you can buy a jacket with the size that easily covers a 60-gallon tank water heater, two-inch-thick, made of fiberglass with R-6.7 insulating value and with the included adhesive tape for easy installation.
The installation of the insulation blanket is a DIY home project, and it doesn't require any special skills or tools. We suggest insulating hot water pipes also so together can work more efficiently.
Working on the electric units is easier than gas- or oil-fired appliances. Be careful not to obstruct the flue at the top and the burner area. Failure to do so could be very costly for you, and dangerous.
Unless you buy a pre-cut hot water heater blanket, you just need an adhesive tape and scissors to cut out the areas so you can clear the elements as mentioned earlier.
Clean up the dust and wash the top surface so the tape can adhere.
Note: With the additional water heater insulation, do not set the thermostat over 130 F as the wiring may overheat.
Installing rigid insulation under the tank can also save you some energy and money. Think about it when installing a new heating unit.