Why Use Water Heater Blankets?

Water heater – every person who takes shower has one! That does not mean that if you do not have one then you do not take shower! You might be someone who enjoys cold shower, which is perfectly normal depending on which part of the world you are living in! For those who are having a giant cylinder called water heater in a remote part of their house, this may be an interesting article.

Heaters are important integral parts of our lives. Those are also one of the few objects that contribute to a big fat electricity bill at the end of the month which eats away most of our pay cheque! This just might make us hate heaters for ever and not appreciate the fact that we even own one! If you want to eliminate this feeling then you could find ways to obtain the maximum efficiency from your heater! How can we do that? One of the ways you could do this is by using water heater blankets to prevent heat loss thus save energy. Before going into further details, we should understand the different types of water heaters that are available and then decide if we still need those blankets to save energy.

Types of heaters

Traditional water heaters fall into two families. There are independent models. They run on electricity or gas.

The electric storage water heater

What is electric water heater storage?

The electric water heater storage is the easiest way to produce hot water. It can be installed on any cold water supply and works automatically without any interventions.  It has a reservoir that keeps water at a constant temperature. The system heats water through a canal or ceramic tube. Warm water accumulates on top of the tank and is maintained at a constant temperature with the help of insulating material that’s around the tank until it is discharged for domestic purposes.

The benefits of an electric water heater:

  • Hot water is available at all times
  • A constant temperature
  • Economical operation thanks to the heating system in peak hours (if applicable)
  • Easy installation
  • Minimum maintenance

The gas water heater

Like the electric model, the gas water heater includes a heating device in the storage tank. The device includes an electronically lit burner and supplied with natural gas, butane or propane.

Gas water heaters are the most economical models. The advantage of this system is that hot water is available at any time, in unlimited quantities. The drawback could be the lack of homogeneity of the temperature of water supplied.

The instantaneous gas water heaters

As its name suggests, this water heater does not include a storage tank. It heats water on demand. The water flows directly into a coil that passes through a heating element. The heating element warms up through the burner that runs on natural gas, butane or propane.

Efficiency of water heaters

If there is no demand for hot water in a house hold, the water waiting in water heater storage tank should ideally, once heated, keep the temperature constant indefinitely. It should keep all the heat that was supplied to heat it.

In reality, however, this is obviously not what happens: the water that’s waiting, slowly and continuously loses heat through the walls of the tank. The temperature of the water drops gradually and periodically heating elements are in motion to recover these losses.

The more heat loss you have around the reservoir, the more energy you would need to produce the same amount of hot water. This on the other hand would increase the amount of money spent.

These heat losses around the reservoir depend mainly on four factors.

The area of the tank wall:

This area depends on the size and shape of the tank, the greater the surface the greater the losses would be.


insulating strength of walls:

The less the walls of a tank are insulated, the more the losses would be.

The temperature

of the hot water over warm water in the tank also plays an important role.

The temperature of the air:

If the room temperature is low then the heat loss from the water heater would be high.

One of the ways you can prevent heat loss is by using water heater blankets.

Water heater blankets

Impact of adding an insulating blanket

Several studies have shown that there is generally an economic advantage to cover conventional electric heaters that were manufactured before mid 1990, because they had poor insulation. Now that these machines are replaced by better equipments is it still necessary to cover them with a blanket?

YES! If you want to make some savings then it is always an excellent idea to cover your water heater with a blanket!

If a water heater is already well insulated from its manufacturer, the loss is lower and therefore increases the potential savings. If we, for example, double the insulation value then it will reduce the heat loss through the wall by half. If we triple the insulation value then the heat loss could be reduced by two-thirds.

Since 2004, the insulating value of the wall of water heaters is more than R-16 (2.8 RSI). For such water heaters, if the entire exposed surface of the tank, including the background, is wrapped in this blanket insulation, heat loss would be reduced by maximum of 30%, and the savings rate would be around 6 to $ 8. In practice, however, the reduction of losses would be significantly below this value.

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