Prepare the Water Heater for the Cold With Insulation
By now, it’s apparent that a water heater is an essential part of the modern home rather than a luxurious add-on. Water heaters provide hot water to the house all year round, which kills germs and bacteria on surfaces, dishes, skin, and clothes. Public health is very much dependent on properly working water heaters.
Whether it has a large hot water storage tank or is a tankless model, there are ways to insulate the water heater to protect it during the cooler months. Not only that, but it helps to reduce utility costs as well. Water heaters are a staple to the home, and insulation is a staple to the water heater. Continue reading to learn more about water heater insulation and its benefits.
Here’s Why Insulation is Important
During the winter, the water entering the home is much colder than it is during the summer. It is colder outside, so the water is naturally colder as well. Homeowners that insulate their water heaters end up experiencing several benefits, including:
- Lower utility bills
- Fewer water heater breakdowns -- especially in the winter
- A longer-lasting water heater because it doesn’t get overused or overworked
- Reduced standby heat loss
The utility bills decrease because the water will stay warmer for longer inside the water heater once it’s insulated. Water that remains warmer won’t need the water heater to work as hard to keep the water warm when hot water is required. Who wouldn’t want lower utility costs while simultaneously preventing their water heaters from unnecessary wear and tear?
Signs It’s Time to Add Insulation
Homeowners may ask how to know if they should insulate the water heater. The best way to check if a water heater could use additional insulation is by checking the R-value on the tank or in the user manual. The R-value is the rating of the tank’s insulation material and its resistance to heat flow. The higher the number, the better the protection.
It’s a general rule of thumb that if a water heater has an R-value of less than 24, it should be insulated. However, protecting a water heater will never hurt. Even if the R-value is above 24, the water heater may still benefit from insulation. At the very least, it’s an added layer of protection.
Another sign to add water heater insulation is the age of the water heater. Many newer water heaters have better insulation built into the tank and have higher R-values. Older water heaters have less insulation built in and are more susceptible to weather and breakdowns, so they can use all the protection they can get.
Different Types of Insulation
There are a few different types of insulation. Commonly used materials for insulating water heaters include fiberglass, foam insulation tape, and other reflective surfaces. Fiberglass is a popular choice for insulating hot-water tanks due to its low cost and easy installation. It comes in rolls of varying thicknesses and can be cut to fit most water heater sizes. However, fiberglass should not come into direct contact with the water tank. It should be covered with a protective cloth or plastic wrap.
Foam insulation tape is another option for insulating hot-water tanks. This type of insulation provides excellent protection from heat loss and is easy to install. It should be applied directly to the tank walls and secured with special tape or glue.
Reflective surfaces, such as aluminum foil, can also be used to insulate water heaters. This method is most effective when used with other insulation materials, such as fiberglass or foam insulation tape. Aluminum foil reflects heat away from the tank and helps maintain an efficient temperature. It should be applied directly to the tank's walls, ensuring proper coverage and sealing any gaps or seams.
No matter what type of insulation is chosen, it's important that installation is done according to manufacturer instructions to maximize efficiency and safety. Proper installation will minimize energy costs and prolong the water heater's life. Additionally, regular maintenance should be conducted to ensure that insulation remains in good condition over time.
About Rooter MD Plumbing LLC
Rooter MD Plumbing LLC is an award-winning company with over 40 years of experience serving Livonia, MI, and the surrounding areas. They provide convenient scheduling, on-time arrivals, and personalized solutions. Call them today for water heater services in Livonia, MI.