Are Water Heater Blankets Worth It?

Water heater blankets are indeed worth the investment. They can lead to savings of approximately 8%–16% in water heating costs.

Water heater blankets, often referred to as insulation blankets, are designed to wrap around a water heater to reduce heat loss and improve efficiency. This added layer of insulation can be especially beneficial for older water heaters that might not have been built with the same energy-saving technologies as newer models. While many modern water heaters come with built-in insulation, older models can benefit significantly from an external blanket.

There’s a distinction between gas and electric water heater blankets. Gas water heaters require specific blankets designed to accommodate the exhaust, whereas electric water heaters can use standard insulation blankets. Brands like Rheem offer specialized water heater blankets that cater to the unique needs of their products.

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, there are DIY options available, allowing homeowners to craft a custom-fit blanket for their water heater. Regardless of the type or brand, the primary goal remains the same: to enhance efficiency and reduce energy costs.

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Effectiveness of Hot Water Heater Blankets

Water heater blankets, specifically designed for hot water heaters, are crafted to reduce heat loss and maintain the temperature of the water inside the tank. By wrapping the tank with this insulating layer, the heater doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the water hot, leading to increased efficiency.

For homeowners looking to cut down on energy bills and enhance the performance of their hot water heaters, these blankets can be a valuable addition.

They are particularly beneficial for older models that might not have the advanced insulation features of contemporary units.

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Insulation Needs for New Water Heaters

Modern water heaters are often built with improved insulation technologies to meet energy efficiency standards. While this built-in insulation is effective, adding an external blanket can further optimize performance.

Even though new water heaters are designed to be more energy-efficient, an external insulation blanket can offer an extra layer of protection against heat loss, ensuring that the unit operates at its peak efficiency.

Installation guide for water heater blankets

Water heater blankets are designed to enhance the efficiency of your water heater by reducing heat loss. Proper installation is crucial to ensure optimal performance and safety. Here’s a detailed guide on how to install water heater blankets:

1. Choosing the Right Blanket

Different water heaters require specific types of blankets. Gas heaters, for instance, need blankets that can accommodate their exhaust vents. Electric heaters, on the other hand, can use standard insulation blankets. Before purchasing, measure your water heater’s height and circumference to ensure a snug fit. A well-fitted blanket ensures maximum insulation and efficiency.

2. Preparing the Water Heater

Before starting the installation, turn off the water heater. For electric heaters, switch off the breaker; for gas heaters, turn the dial to the “pilot” setting. Ensure the surface of the heater is clean and free from dust or grease, which can affect the blanket’s adhesive properties.

3. Positioning the Blanket

Unroll the blanket and wrap it around the water heater, ensuring it covers as much of the tank as possible without obstructing any controls or vents. For gas water heaters, it’s crucial to leave the top open to prevent any blockage of the exhaust.

4. Securing the Blanket

Once positioned, mark the areas where the blanket overlaps. Remove the blanket, cut off the excess material, and then rewrap it around the heater. Most blankets come with adhesive strips or tapes. Use these to secure the blanket in place. Ensure it’s snug but not overly tight.

5. Final Adjustments

After securing the blanket, make cutouts for controls, valves, or other essential components. This ensures you can still access these parts without removing the blanket. For gas heaters, ensure the combustion vent at the bottom isn’t obstructed.

6. Monitoring Post-Installation

After installation, monitor the water heater for a few days. Check for any unusual sounds, smells, or signs of overheating. If everything seems normal, the blanket is successfully installed and will start saving energy immediately.

Installation guide for water heater blankets

Energy Savings with Water Heater Blankets

One of the primary reasons homeowners opt for water heater blankets is the potential energy savings.

By minimizing heat loss from the tank, the water heater doesn’t have to use as much energy to maintain the desired temperature. This reduction in energy usage can translate to noticeable savings on monthly utility bills.

Over time, the investment in a water heater blanket can pay for itself through these savings, making it a wise choice for those keen on optimizing their home’s energy use.

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Considerations Before Using Water Heater Blankets

While water heater blankets offer numerous advantages, there are some considerations to keep in mind. For gas water heaters, it’s essential to ensure that the blanket doesn’t block any air vents or exhausts, as this can lead to safety concerns.

It’s also vital to choose the right size and type of blanket for the specific water heater model. Improper installation can reduce the blanket’s effectiveness and might even damage the heater.

Before purchasing, homeowners should research and consult with professionals to ensure they’re making an informed decision.


What Materials Comprise Water Heater Blankets?

Water heater blankets are primarily made of insulating materials like fiberglass or foil-backed bubble wrap. These materials are effective in reducing heat loss, ensuring that the water remains hot for longer periods, and the heater operates efficiently.

Can Water Heater Blankets Be Used on Tankless Models?

Typically, tankless water heaters do not require blankets. They are designed to heat water on demand and do not store hot water, making insulation unnecessary. Using a blanket on a tankless model might interfere with its operation and is not recommended.

How Often Should the Blanket Be Replaced?

A well-maintained water heater blanket can last for several years. However, if it shows signs of wear, tear, or damage, it’s advisable to replace it to ensure optimal insulation and energy savings.

Is There a Risk of Overheating with a Blanket?

No, water heater blankets are designed to insulate and reduce heat loss. They do not generate heat. As long as the blanket is correctly installed, ensuring vents and controls are not obstructed, there’s no risk of overheating.

How Do I Clean a Water Heater Blanket?

Cleaning is simple. Dust it off regularly using a soft brush. If it gets dirty, a damp cloth can be used to wipe it down. Avoid using harsh chemicals or soaking the blanket, as this can damage the insulating materials.

Are There Specific Brands That Offer the Best Blankets?

Several reputable brands offer high-quality water heater blankets. It’s essential to choose one that fits your specific heater model and size. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations can help in making an informed choice.

Do Blankets Impact the Warranty of Water Heaters?

Most manufacturers do not void the warranty if a blanket is used. However, it’s always a good idea to check the warranty terms or consult with the manufacturer before adding any external modifications, including insulation blankets.