Water heating is the third largest energy expense in the average Des Plaines home, accounting for around 16 percent of your monthly annual operating costs. If your water heater is more than five years old, you can lower your water heating bills by wrapping it up snugly in an insulating blanket. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), your water-heater savings can be as high as 40 percent. The following information explains how to insulate your hot water tank and includes some other savvy tips that can enhance your energy savings, as well.
How to Insulate Your Hot Water Tank
If your hot water tank feels warm to the touch, insulating it will conserve energy and save you money. Pre-cut blankets with included wrapping tape are available for around $20. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you wear gloves and a dust mask when insulating the tank to protect yourself from airborne particulates. You’ll need a tape measure, marker and scissors as well as help from a friend of family member to measure, cut and apply the blanket. Follow these steps to get the job done safely:
- Turn off power to the water heater at the source.
- Cut the blanket to fit the height of the tank.
- Wrap the blanket around the tank and use your marker to identify where the control panels and thermostat are. For gas and oil tanks, it’s often best to have a professional handle the insulating.
- Cut out the control areas, making the openings at least one-inch wider than the controls.
- Wrap the tank with the blanket and tape it in place.
More Money-Saving Tips
To enjoy the greatest reduction on your water heating expenses, try these additional strategies:
- Insulate Pipes. Use self-sticking foam pipe insulation to wrap the hot and cold water pipes that run from the water storage tank.
- Lower the Temperature. For every 10 degrees that you reduce the temperature of your hot water tank, you’ll save up to 5 percent on your water heating expenses, according to the EPA. Both the LBL and the EPA recommend lowering the temperature to 120 degrees.
- Schedule Maintenance. Regular water heater maintenance not only saves you money by improving efficiency and extending the heater’s service life but is also essential for ensuring that the appliance operates safely.
- Know When to Replace. If your water heating system is more than seven years old, the EPA advises homeowners to consider replacing the heater with a more energy-efficient system. Whether it’s a high efficiency traditional heater, a solar-powered heater or a tankless model, a new model will save you money over the life of the system.
Whether you need help insulating your hot water tank and pipes, you’d like to schedule maintenance or you’re interested in a new high efficiency model, you can depend on the experts at Gartner Heating and Air Conditioning for accurate information and quality services. To speak to one of our skilled professionals, contact Gartner today.