Boost Water Heater Performance By Considering Insulation Options
Water heater performance depends on a number of factors, including sufficient insulation. The heater’s storage tank must keep water warm in-between usage by household occupants. If heated water cools due to insufficient insulation, it must be heated all over again, consuming double the energy.
If you cut a water heater tank in half, you’ll notice that every tank contains a layer of insulation. Water heaters are rated for insulation efficiency with an R-value just like home insulation. You can usually find a heater’s R-value on a label on the tank. The higher the R-value, the more efficiently it insulates.
Here’s one quick method to evaluate your water heater’s performance: Place the palm of your hand on the water heater tank, midway up the side. The cooler it feels, the better. The warmer it is, the more it can benefit from added insulation. More insulation can decrease the cost of operation by up to 10 percent.
An insulating blanket available at any home center is easy to install. Select one with an R-value of at least 8. You’ll need the dimensions of your heater to buy the right blanket, so measure before you go. When installing a blanket on a gas heater, make sure you don’t cover the top or bottom of the heater, or the burner compartment or thermostat. Call a plumbing or heating professional if you’re unsure.
Inexpensive pipe insulation available at home centers can also improve the efficiency and performance of the heater. Slip it over the first 6 feet of both the hot and cold water pipes that connect to the water heater.
Contact us today for more tips on how to improve your water heater performance.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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