As the thermometer drops, your water heater works doubly hard to maintain hot water. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that heating water accounts for 25 percent of all energy consumed in the typical home. As water and air temperatures drop, its share of your energy bill could be even higher.
A simple and proven way to lower its energy consumption and your energy bills is by wrapping it in an insulating blanket. Storage tank water heaters have to keep water hot constantly, and their standby losses drive up water heating bills.
Place your hand on the tank to see if it feels warm to the touch. If there’s a discernable difference between it and nearby surfaces, measure the tank’s height, circumference and note its gallon capacity.
Choosing the Blanket
It’s better to buy too large a blanket than one that’s too small. The kits come with tape and complete instructions for installation. You can trim the blanket for a good fit, which should neither be too tight or loose.
Electric water heaters are fairly simple to insulate, but if yours is a gas water heater, you may want to ask a plumber of HVAC contractor to do it for you. Gas water heaters must have proper venting for both the combustion and venting process. Blocking either could harm the heater and create a dangerous situation in your home.
As you wrap the heater, cut out the areas around the thermostat and the pressure relief valve. When finished, turn the water temperature down to 120 degrees F to prevent the wires from overheating.
Lower water temperature also saves energy and slows the formation of dissolved solids at the bottom of the tank that contribute to higher water heating costs, and also extends the life of the tank. You may want to turn the dishwasher’s heat option on to increase the dishwashing temperature.
Lowering the energy use of a water heater keeps money in your pocket. If you’d like more information, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, providing outstanding plumbing and HVAC services for Indianapolis homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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