Homeowners searching for a solution to save energy and cut down on costs often look to add insulation to their homes. While blown-in home insulation in the exterior walls and attic of your home is certainly beneficial, many Massachusetts residents do not realize that there are other ways insulation can be used to help them increase the energy efficiency of their property.
For instance, you can insulate your water heater and almost immediately begin reaping the financial benefits.
A gas water heater
Does Your Water Heater Need Insulation?
Insulating your water heater can be beneficial in a variety of ways, but first, you will want to determine if that’s the next best step in your efforts to become more energy efficient. Here are a few things to consider before deciding if your water heater needs insulation:
Consider the age of your unit. If you have recently purchased a gas water heater or electric water heater, it may have come with the insulation needed to keep it running at peak efficiency. However, an older unit may not be equipped with this insulation, and added insulation can help.
Check the R-value. The R-value will be listed on a sticker that is attached to the water heater. If your R-value is higher than 24, you likely do not need insulation. If your R-value is below 24, then insulation may be the right option for you. Touch the unit. If your water heater is hot to the touch, that means that the heat being generated inside the unit is escaping. A well-insulated water heater should not be warm to the touch.
Water heater with insulation added
Insulation Solutions for Your Water Heater
If you have determined that now is the right time to insulate your water heater, you will want to learn more about the insulation solutions that are available. It’s important to note that there will be different insulation options to consider based on whether you have a gas water heater or an electric water heater.
To insulate a gas water heater, wrap an insulation blanket around the top of the unit. The insulation blanket should extend below the controller. Make sure the blanket fits tightly, as this is the only way to prevent energy from escaping the unit.
To insulate an electric water heater, wrap an insulation blanket around the side of the unit as well as the top. Be careful to avoid insulating the access panels, as this can cause the electrical components of the water heater to overheat.
How Much Will You Save When You Invest in Water Heater Insulation?
Perhaps one of the largest advantages of insulating your water heater is that it is an affordable solution that leads to significant cost savings. Depending on the R-value of your water heater and the type of insulation that you apply, you will reduce energy loss by up to 45 percent. Most Massachusetts homeowners find that their costs for water heating go down about 16 percent. The amount of savings realized often pays for the cost of insulation within a year, making this project a worthwhile investment.
Insulating your water heater is just one step that you can take to become a more energy-efficient homeowner. If you are interested in learning about more ways that you can save money and reduce your energy usage, then you should get in touch with the professionals at HomeWorks Energy.
We offer a no-cost home energy assessment to Massachusetts residents as part of the Mass Save program. We also operate in New York and are a participating contractor of NYSERDA and EmPower New York. Your Home Energy Assessment will provide you with insight into how you can become more energy-efficient as well as lower your utility costs.