Hot Water Heater Blanket

How a hot water heater blanket can save energy and money.

You can tell if you need a hot water heater blanket if the water tank feels warm to the touch. If it is warm, energy is escaping from the water you just spent money to heat. The solution is to get an inexpensive water heater blanket to provide insulation and keep the heat in. Hot water heater blankets cost about $25 and are pretty easy to put around the heater.

Note that newer water heaters are well-insulated and often don't need a water heater jacket. If the heater tank doesn't feel warm then you're okay.

If you install water heater insulation, make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Electric hot water heaters are easier but make sure you don't cover the electrical access panel. It's a bit more involved for gas hot water heater blankets. For gas, the insulation should not cover the bottom or top or the tank—take the time to read the instructions since they are pretty specific.

When you are checking the water heater to see if it needs an insulating jacket, you'll also want to check the pipes (actually just the pipe where the hot water leaves the tank) and see if it is warm. If it is, you should insulate it as well with water heater pipe insulation.

Try our Home Energy Checklist for more ideas on home energy savings.