Would you like to save some money while reducing the carbon pollution in your home? The answer is obviously yes. That's why so many homeowners explore the possibility of adding insulation to their major appliances. One of the most important ones is your water heater, and here's a guide to insulating it to improve energy efficiency.

The Why of It

As water heaters age, they begin to lose integrity. They'll demonstrate their depreciation by losing effectiveness. You'll notice this each month when you receive your utility bill. By adding insulation, you'll earn back enough money in utility bill savings to counteract the cost of the materials used. The United States Department of Energy suggests that you can save as much as $45 annually by adding insulation. They also estimate that it's a 90-minute procedure. So, that little time can save you $450 over a decade (minus the cost of materials).

By adding insulation, you'll also reduce your carbon footprint. The only concern is that you must add insulation in a way that you don't block any of the important safety outputs on the water heat. You should consider hiring a professional for this task as a safety measure.

Pre-Install Tips

Assuming that you're a skilled DIY enthusiast, you can do this procedure yourself. The first thing you must do is find the manual for your water heater. Check it to make certain that it's okay to insulate your unit. Some manuals explicitly state not to do so. Also, verify that your water heater isn't leaking. If it is, you'll want a professional to do the job instead.

Step two is to clean your appliance, particularly the top of the unit. That's where most of the tape will go, and it won't stick on a dirty surface. You'll need to buy a water heater insulation kit for your unit as well. Your utility company may sell these items for less than a home improvement store. Alternately, they might offer a rebate for using such products to improve your energy efficiency.

How to Install Insulation

Measure the entirety of your water heater, adding three inches to the width to allow for the new materials. If your measurement is too short, you'll have to jam the insulation, reducing its effectiveness. Roll the blanket on a flat surface and mark the measurements you just took on the padding. Cut at the proper marks to create the appropriately sized insulation blanket for your water heater.

Determine the edge of your blanket that will stand vertically against the tank. Cut a flap in it away from the plastic cover. Now perform the actual wrap to verify that your measurements are correct. If it doesn't, make the appropriate adjustments. Presuming the blanket fits, use your hand to find where the controls are. Cut another flap in the padding there. Tape the padding to the heater and cut a cap for the top of the heater. Then, insulate the connecting pipe from your water heater. Tape both of them, and you're done!

As you can see, insulating your water heater isn't difficult. Simply follow this guide and you'll enjoy cheaper utility bills and a more energy-efficient home.