Next to a furnace, a home’s hot water heater is probably the largest energy cost of any piece of equipment in the home. Having hot water when you want it is one of the advantages of living in a modern home. But, that advantage does cost you money each and every time you pay your energy bill. If you have a conventional water heater with a storage tank, you pay a lot of money every month just to keep the water in the storage tank hot. That’s wasted money. Fortunately, if your hot water heater is able to use a water heater blanket, you can reduce your hot water costs from 25% to 40%.
A conventional hot water heater uses a large storage tank to keep a certain amount of water at a temperature either your installer or you have preselected. All hot water heaters are insulated to at least some degree, but even so, after a certain amount of time, the water in the storage tank will begin to cool. After it cools a few degrees, a sensor in the water heater will activate the heating unit of the water heater until the water has regained its preselected temperature. Poorly insulated water heaters will loss heat quicker, and their heating units will have to run more often in order to keep the water hot.
A water heater blanket is a special type of insulation that you can attach around the outside of your water heater to increase the amount of insulation. The better your hot water tank is insulated, the less often its heating unit will have to run. When the heating unit runs less often, you save energy and money.
Water heater blankets are relatively inexpensive at about £20, and a typical family can easily save more than that in energy costs in just a few months. Installing a water heater blanket is very easy. All you need is a measuring tape and a cutting tool to cut the insulation to fit your water heater. When you install the water heater blanket, you only wrap it around the sides of the water heater while avoiding any openings, gauges, or controls. Also, you should avoid installing any part of the insulation on the top or the bottom of the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, the burner plate will be near the bottom, and an exhaust flue will be at the top. For safety purposes, you need to keep those areas clear of any additional insulation.
Some hot water heaters are insulated well enough that they would not benefit from a water heater blanket. You can check for this by carefully placing your hand on the outside of the water heater. If you feel no residual heat, then your water heater is already adequately insulated. Also, some water heaters will specifically say in their instruction manuals that you should not add a water heater blanket to them. So, you should make sure you read your equipment’s manual thoroughly before installing any type of additional insulation.
If your water heater is a type that could benefit from a little additional insulation, then a water heater blanket is well worth its low cost. Your energy savings will continue month after month, so there’s no reason to wait. The sooner you install a water heater blanket, the sooner you’ll start saving money.

Sam Jones the author of this article recommends uSwitch.com (www.uswitch.com/energy-saving/guides/free-energy-saving-tips/ ) for the best energy saving tips, to help you reduce your energy costs in the home and ensure you are getting the best deals available.