If your water heater is in an attic, basement, or garage that is uninsulated or unheated, an insulation blanket might be the ticket to a more energy efficient water heater. It is best to get an insulation blanket that is valued at R-11 or higher; the number following the R indicates how thick the blanket is. If you have a newer water heater, then you might not need a blanket, not if the heater already has factory insulation of R-16 or more. This insulation will probably not be visible, but you can find out if your water heater has this when you check the label.
Insulation blankets for water heaters come in kits, and they also come in various sizes according to how many gallons your heater contains. The blanket will have an outer finish of white vinyl that covers the inner raw insulation, and the kit will also come with the adhesive tape you need.
For gas water heaters, you want to wrap the insulation blanket around the heater from the top down to slightly under the controller, without actually covering the top or the controller. You only want to wrap around the sides, since covering the top of the heater is a fire hazard. You also do not want the blanket to go over the anode or pressure and temperature relief valve. Now if the blanket does not reach all the way to the bottom of the heater, that is not a problem. The actual bottom of the tank is higher than the bottom of the heater.
For electric water heaters, you can wrap the sides as well as the top; electric heaters do not have an exhaust. You do have to avoid wrapping any heating-element access panels, as the insulation blanket could cause these to overheat.
With better insulation, you can get more out of your water heater throughout the cold winter months. If you are experiencing problems with your water heater, however, this is an issue that you will need to solve fast. Our team of plumbing technicians can provide the quality service you need at any time an emergency arises, even on a weekend or evening, and for no additional charge. Find out how an experienced Kansas City plumber from A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc. can help you when you contact our office for a no-obligation quote.