Should I Insulate My Water Heater?

Two Ways to Cut Heating Costs Fast

water heater Sullivan county, ny Ask a homeowner what they think their biggest energy expense is, and they’ll likely tell you it’s heating. But the fact is, it’s water heating—for bathing and showering, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning and other tasks—that can represent as much as 20% of energy bills, or even more. It makes sense to look for peak efficiency when it comes to heating water.

Regular maintenance always improves efficiency. When equipment is operating properly, it doesn’t have to work as hard, saving energy. But in winter, your water heater needs to work harder because the water is colder to start with. With a tank style unit, it needs to work harder to keep water warm because the air around it is colder. This is called standby heat loss, and the best way to improve efficiency and save money is to reduce or eliminate standby heat loss from your water heater. We’ve got two ways to do that:

Reduce Stand-by Heat Loss

If you have a tank-type water heater, you know that it’s a big tank that holds typically between 20 to 80 gallons of water. These types of units use a thermostat to make sure the water is always hot enough when you want to use it. It heats water to the set temperature, and then reheats it as it cools. Reducing that standby heat loss is easy, and inexpensive with an insulating wrap or “blanket.” Adding insulation to your water heater can lower your water-heating costs by up to 16% a year, according to the U.S. Government.

Insulating wraps are inexpensive, and wrapping your water heater is an easy DIY project. You will need a helper, and you’ll need to shut your water heater off, so make sure everyone has showered before you start!

Eliminate Standby Heat Loss

If you have a tank-style water heater that’s getting close to the ten-year mark, you’ll need to replace it soon. And replacing it with a tankless water heater will eliminate standby heat loss. That’s because tankless water heaters save energy by instantly heating water when you need it. When you turn on the tap, water flows through the unit and is heated instantly by a propane-fueled heating element. When you turn off the tap, the unit stops heating water. As a result, you can enjoy virtually unlimited hot water—while seeing savings of up to 40%!

While upgrading to a tankless water heater will cost more up front, it will pay for itself in savings in the long run, versus a storage tank style, which will cost you more over time.

The Bottom Line

Insulating your tank-style water heater is a great way to improve efficiency if it’s fairly new.

And while any new water heater will be more efficient than older technology, for super-high efficiency and savings, you should also weigh your options and consider going tankless.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a tankless water heater for your Hudson Valley home? The pros at Depew can help you choose the best option for your needs and your budget. Enjoy energy efficiency and all the hot water you need with a new water heater! Contact us today to get started.