Water heaters can be a costly monthly expense for businesses and homeowners alike. While everyone has one of these appliances installed at home or in the office, they don’t all utilize a water heater blanket on it, despite how affordable it is and the many benefits it provides.
Like most insulation equipment, the blankets help to maintain the temperature of the insulated device, allowing for greater energy efficiency.
Water heater Insulation blankets like this can help save you money as well as provide you with other useful perks. In order to understand if a hot water heater blanket is worth it, first, it is important to understand how it works and what it does.
What Is A Water Heater Blanket?
Energy costs can make up a large portion of your monthly expenses. This is why energy efficient devices or equipment can help save you a great amount of money over time. Insulation blankets, also known as jackets for water heating appliances, are one such device that can help you do this.
So how do water heater blankets save money?
Typically, water heater appliances are manually set to maintain a certain water temperature. Once this temperature falls below a certain point, the device will heat up the water again in order to maintain the setpoint. As a result, heat within these devices is constantly transferred and lost slowly over time. Also, if the appliance is not on a timer, it may mean that it is working all day long even if it doesn’t need to be.
This is where a hot water heater blanket can help greatly reduce the rate at which the heat escapes, allowing you to increase the energy efficiency of your appliance.
Typically, these jackets are made from fiberglass, foil, or foam, with a vinyl or aluminum reflective barrier.
A term that you will see pop up every so often is the R-Value. This refers to the jacket’s thermal resistance and generally speaking, the higher the R-Value the better the blanket.
Do I Need To Install One On My Appliance
There are two ways to decide if you need to install a jacket on your water heating appliance:
- Touch your appliance – if it is warm to the touch then you can benefit from a heater blanket
- If your water heating appliance has an R-Value rating of less than 24, you should consider purchasing a blanket for it.
Especially on older appliances, the blanket can cut heat loss by between 25 – 45 %.
Reviews Of Products On The Market
1. SmartJacket Insulation System
- Fits tanks from 30 to 60 gallons
- 24 x 84 inch dimensions
- Foam between aluminum material
- Can be used on both electric and gas models
- R-Value 7.1
- 5 year warranty
With an R-value of 7.1, the Smart Jacket offers significant water heater insulation energy savings on your appliance.
This model is made from foam sandwiched between aluminum foil and is both non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. Unlike fiberglass which can sometimes shed when handled, the foil makes for an easy and tidy installation that you can do yourself.
Size wise, the wrap can be fitted onto water tanks with a capacity of up to 60 gallons. One of the unique aspects of this product is that it creates a small gap between the blanket and the water tank, creating an additional barrier of insulation. This helps maintain optimal temperatures more efficiently which translates into money savings for you.
The SmartJacket is suitable for both gas and electric heater models so you won’t be limited if you decide to change your appliance in the future. Furthermore, the jacket is easy enough to install and the instructions are kept basic so you won’t need to call a professional in each time you fit it.
This product also comes with an additional sheet of insulation which can be used as an insulating lid for your water heater.
What We Like
- Easy to install
- Aluminum material is less toxic and messy than fiberglass substitutes
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Greatly improves energy efficiency
- Energy star certified
- A bit more expensive than other contenders in this category
2. Thermwell Products SP57-5 Insulation Blanket
- 1-1/2-Inch x 48-Inch x 75-Inch
- Fits up to 60 Gallon tanks
- Designed for gas, oil and electric water heaters
- Vinyl backed fiberglass insulated jacket
- Adhesive tape included
- R-Value 5
Made from fiberglass, the Thermwell’s SP57-5 thermal blanket is a strong contender for the budget category of water insulation devices. They have the backing of the Frost King family and so are a household name too!
With fairly standard dimensions, this device fits a wide variety of water heating tanks up to 60 gallons. The SP57-5 water heater insulation blanket works best on older water heater devices in colder rooms, but of course is not limited to that.
With clear, step-by-step instructions, this jacket can be easily installed without little hassle. However, that being said, the fiberglass can shed so we recommend using protective gear when handling it.
This thermal blanket is 48 x 75 inches and can, therefore, be flexibly utilized to fully cover the water heater device. Because the material is flexible and can overlap if need be, it can be used to completely cover the appliance leaving as little out in the open as possible. This is important as any exposed areas can result in heat escaping.
What We Like
- Very cost effective and efficient
- Clear step-by-step installation instructions
- Can be used on a wide variety of water heating appliances
- The included adhesive tape is not very durable
3. US Energy Products Nasa Tech Heavy Duty Tank Insulation Wrap
- 1/4 thick double bubble reflective insulation
- 5 R-Value
- 40% reduction in heat loss
- Fits all 40-80 gallon tanks
The US Energy Products NASA Tech wrap is a heavy-duty plastic foam water heater blanket to meet your insulation needs. This bubble reflective insulation is ideal for appliances up to 80 gallons and is thicker than a lot of other products out there as can be seen from the high R-Value.
The inner layer is made up of a high-quality polyethylene bubble, and this is surrounded by two layers of aluminum foil. The materials are hypoallergenic and non-toxic, ensuring that they are safe for use.
Like the others, reflective technology is used to redirect heat back into the device and more efficiently maintain its heat levels.
Similarly, it is also very easy to install with a very useful setup guide that provides step by step instructions for the installation process.
What We Like
- Easy installation process and accompanying instructions
- Is suitable for larger water heating units
- Safe to use materials
- Highly durable and efficient energy retention materials
- On the more expensive side
Choosing The Right Product For Your Heater Appliance
When deciding which insulating hot water jacket to choose, you need to evaluate your current water heater appliance. There are a few considerations to be made when assessing which one to buy, namely:
- Your budget
- The dimensions and size of your water heater
- If you wish to install it yourself or not
- Some materials contain allergens
- How much insulation value does the blanket provide
- What type of water heater do you have (electric, gas, etc)
After you have evaluated these considerations, you will have a clearer understanding of the insulation hot water heater blanket you need.
For example, if you have a larger or oddly shaped heater unit, you may need to consider a larger or more flexible insulation blanket. This is so that it will wrap around the difficult corners and completely enclose your appliance.
Similarly, if you have children at home or if someone suffers from allergies, you should consider a jacket made from materials such as aluminum as opposed to fiberglass.
Don’t forget the R-Vale of the product either, as you want your jacket to provide the best thermal resistance possible so that heat does not easily escape.
Benefits Of Water Heater Jackets
According to the laws of thermodynamics, heat will always be transferred over time. When applied to this case, this means that heat stored within your water heating device will slowly dissipate over time. Lost heat equals higher energy usage to reheat, which is both inefficient and wasteful.
Therefore, these insulating products provide several benefits when utilized correctly and can help improve several aspects of your water heater usage. These benefits include the following:
- Can improve the lifespan of your water heater
- Improved energy efficiency and lowered consumption
- Can lower your monthly energy costs
- Helps protect and maintain your water heating device from moisture, dust and other debris
- Allows you to easily clean and maintain your water heating device
- Some of these devices help reduce the sound pollution emitted from loud water heating appliances.
A water heater blanket is an ideal long-term energy saving product that can greatly improve the efficiency of your appliance. Over time, this can lead to a reduction in your energy costs, as water heater appliances contribute to a large portion of your total monthly expenses.
The insulating jackets are made from a number of different materials and come in various sizes. Overall, they are a simple and relatively inexpensive way to maximize energy efficiency within your home or business.