Are Water Heater Blankets Worth It? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Water heaters are not exactly the first thing that people think of when they want to upgrade their home. I mean, they are a major part of your water system but that doesn’t mean that people go out of their way to outfit them with new doodads. That’s why most people don’t really discuss water heater blankets, but maybe, they should. They could be well worth the money people pay for them.

Water heater blankets add a serious level of insulation to your water heater. Depending on where you live, a water heater blanket can reduce heat loss by as much as 25 to 45 percent. This can significantly reduce the cost to heat your water, especially during the winter.

It’s amazing how a simple thing like wrapping a blanket around a water heater can make such a huge difference. If you’re wondering if this is a good buy for you, keep reading. We’ve got you covered with the inside scoop on these useful add-ons.

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What Is A Water Heater Blanket?

A water heater blanket is a thick blanket covering that is meant to be wrapped around the heater. The blanket itself contains thick insulation material that is meant to help contain heat inside of the heater so it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the water inside hot. Most of the time, you will be able to secure it over your water heater straps with the help of additional ties.

Water heater blankets go by a number of different names. You may have heard them called water heater covers, water heater insulation, or hot water heater wraps. Like many niche home improvement products, different regions have different names for them.

How Much Does A Water Heater Blanket Cost?

Water heater covers cost very little, but offer a lot of value. A typical water heater blanket will cost between $20 and $35. Installing it is usually a DIY project, so that means you can expect it to be free. If you want to get a professional handyman to install it, you should add an additional $60 for the visit. That’s the typical bare minimum fee for a handyman.

How Much Can Water Heater Blankets Save You?

Water heater blankets make it easy to save on energy bills by trapping heat inside the heater. This reduces the amount of energy that needs to be used to heat up your water, and trust me, it adds up fast. A water heater blanket can help you drop your energy bill by as much as eight to 17 percent annually.

To put it simply, buying a water heater blanket will pay for itself within the first year of use. By the second year of use, you will notice a significant drop in your bills and enjoy savings from then on.

Who Benefits The Most From Buying A Water Heater Blanket?

Virtually any home can benefit from having a water heater blanket, but there are definitely some that need one more than others. The homes that do best with these include ones that fit one or more of the situations below:

  • You live in an area that is known for extreme cold. The colder the temperature around you, the more your water heater has to work to deliver you the hot water you love. Having a water heater wrap in very cold areas can make a significant difference in your ability to get warm water at all.
  • Your water heater ain’t what it used to be. This may be a bit strange to think about, but if your water heater isn’t working very well, removing the strain of having to churn up heat can help a bunch. Though it’s no replacement for repairing or even replacing your hot water heater, it can help reduce the chances of having your water heater break from the burden of keeping that heat up.
  • You live in an area where energy costs are skyrocketing. There are some parts of the country that have a much higher cost for energy than others, including most parts of Alaska. If you live in an area where heating is your number one bill, then getting a blanket for your water heater is a must.
  • The water heater you own was badly built. A lot of water heaters are not as insulated as they claim to be, and if you’re stuck with one, you need all the help you can get. After all, most water heaters can’t be returned to the manufacturer once they are installed. A water heater cover can help you recoup some of the money that was lost through bad insulation and heat loss.

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Related Questions

Do new water heaters need to get a water heater blanket?

For the most part, getting a water heater blanket is something that you should decide on your own. This includes new water heaters. Most water heaters that are under 10 years old do not need a water heater blanket since they are fairly well insulated on their own. However, if you want to add extra insulation for cost-saving purposes, it’s still worth a shot. You might see lower bills as a result of it.

How are water heater blankets rated?

The “R” rating for water heater blankets denotes the level of insulation that they provide. Most water heater experts agree that an R11 blanket is a good starting point. The higher the R rating, the more insulation your blanket will be able to provide. So if you’re given a choice between an R12 and an R15 blanket, choose the R15. It’ll provide better value for you.

How much electricity do water heaters use?

Believe it or not, hot water heaters use a lot of energy. According to the most recent studies, water heaters will use around 18 percent of your annual household electricity bill. Gas-powered water heaters can be an even larger portion of your bill. Due to the high levels of fuel that heaters require, it’s always a good idea to find ways to make your water heaters more energy-efficient.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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