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Has Hot Water Become An Issue? Try Insulating Your Water Heater

Are you looking to save significantly on your hot-water expenses? Did you know that as much as 25 percent of your energy costs are associated with you water heater? Well, with just a little insulation, your water heater can continue providing you with a steady source of hot water, but also deliver you some energy savings right away.

So how do you know if you need to insulate your water heater? If your water heater is warm to the touch, that means heat is escaping, which translates to wasted energy.

How Do You Select The Right Insulation?

It's important to select an insulation that has a high R-value, which corresponds to the insulation's resistance to heat transfer. The higher that an insulation's R-value is, the better it is at insulating. An R-value of 30 or higher can cut idle heat flow by as much as 45 percent, which is a significant energy savings.

Water heaters use either jacket or blanket insulation. Jacket insulation slides on the tank, and it is size-specific to your water-heater model. Blanket insulation wraps around the tank, and provides one-size-fits-all insulation. 

If you have an electric water heater, installation is fairly easy and safe, and you just want to ensure that once you install the insulation, the temperature does not go above 130 degrees, or the unit's wiring may overheat.

For gas water heaters, it would be a good idea to contact a heating and cooling technician, because installation must be very precise so that the thermostat, flue and drains are not obstructed or impeded in any way. 

Other Steps To Energy Savings

There are a couple of other steps that you can take, with regards to your water heater, to conserve even more energy, and thereby save money on your utility bills:

  • Set your water heater's temperature to 120 degrees. The only difference you should feel is relief a your lower energy bill.
  • Insulate the inlet and outlet pipes.
  • Install heat traps on the water heater's pipes. This particular step may need to be done by a professional.

For more information on how to save energy in your home, contact the professionals at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating. We have proudly served customers in the mid-Ohio area since 1964, and look forward to helping you with all of your heating, cooling and plumbing needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about insulating your water heater and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.

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