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Reasons to Insulate the Water Heater Over the Winter

Help the Water Heater Out During the Cold Season

Winter is here, which means colder temperatures, high heating bills, and the general discomfort of always being cold. Keeping the house warm is a great way to stay comfortable during the winter, but when people go out and about in the frigid weather, there is no better way to get warm than taking a long hot shower. 

One of the problems with hot showers in the winter is that they are more costly than they would be in the summer. The cold weather takes its toll on the water heaters, but luckily, there is an easy way to give the water heater a break during the winter. Insulating the water heater is an easy home maintenance project that can save money during the winter and increase the heat and duration of showers. Here is a complete guide to insulating the water heater.  

Why is Water Heater Insulation Important? 

heaterThe cold weather during the winter causes extra work on the water heater in two ways. First, water heaters always lose heat as they sit on standby waiting for hot water to be used in the home. This causes water heaters to periodically cycle on to reheat the water in the water tank. During the winter, colder temperatures cause this process to happen more often, wasting money on utilities for hot water that isn’t being used. 

The second way that water heaters work more in the winter is due to the colder incoming water. In the summer, water entering the water tank for heating can be around 70 degrees. In the winter, the same water can be as low as 45 degrees. This means the tank has to run longer simply to raise the temperature to the same setpoint. Luckily, water heater insulation helps with both problems by reducing heat loss during standby and heating the water more efficiently. 

Indicators That Water Heater Insulation is Necessary 

All water heaters are insulated, but some are better insulated than others. While nearly every water heater will benefit from insulation, some need it more than others. Some of the signs that water heater insulation is needed are:

  • Age: If the water heater is more than five years old, it has lost efficiency and will benefit from insulation. 
  • R-Value: Most tanks have the R-value stamped on the nameplate. If the R-value is lower than 24, one should install insulation. 
  • Warm to the Touch: The easiest way to tell if water heater insulation is needed is to simply touch the tank. If it is warm, then heat is lost, and insulation can slow down the heat loss. 

Methods to Insulate Water Tanks

insulationWater heater insulation benefits nearly every home, so manufacturers have made it easy to install. The best water heater insulation products are:

  • Heat-reflective wrap that is thin and easy to install. This product can be custom fit to any water tank and installed with tape. 
  • Water heater insulation blankets are pre-made products that wrap a tank in a thick blanket of fiberglass insulation. These products also install easily and offer a great R-value. 
  • Don’t forget to install pipe insulation around the hot water piping around the water tank while installing water heater insulation!

About Anderson Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

Anderson Heating, Cooling & Plumbing are the local HVAC and plumbing experts. They guarantee service within 24 hours of their customers’ calls and offer the best warranties. Call today for exceptional water heater service in Mentor, OH. 

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