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7 Best Water Heater Blankets and Why You Need One


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Every household wants to save money on their utility bills, and since your water heater is expensive to operate, finding a way to make your heater more energy efficient makes good financial sense. Using a water heater blanket can help accomplish this, and surprisingly they aren't that expensive or difficult to install.

When your heater is wrapped in a water heater blanket it will have an additional layer of insulation to keep your water heater from losing heat. This can make the entire system run at a much higher level of energy efficiency, saving you money on future energy bills

Do You Need a Hot Water Blanket?

There's a very simple way to check if your heater could benefit from a hot water heater blanket. Simply feel the outside of your tank. If it's warm, then adding extra insulation in the form of a blanket will help. 

Many newer tanks are built with adequate insulation, but some of the older ones were built before energy efficiency standards improved, and they are not properly insulated by today's standards. If your heater is warm to the touch adding a water heater blanket could reduce standby heat loss by 25 to 45%.

Tank-style water heaters hold hot water within their tank until there's a demand. While the water sits in the tank, the water heater cycles on and off the keep it at the correct temperature.  Standby heat loss refers to the energy that's lost while it's waiting to be used, and of course, it translates to the money used to keep your water hot. 

If you insulate your tank with a water heater blanket, less heat will escape, and your water heater won't need to cycle on as frequently to keep your water hot and ready. The end result, you save money and reduce wear-n-tear on your water heater! In other words, a hot water blanket will minimize standby heat loss.

Potential Savings

It's important to be realistic about the amount of money you could save from using a blanket. The U.S. Department of Energy states that homeowners can save up to $200 annually from installing a hot water blanket. However, savings are only likely to approach this level in extreme circumstances. 

A more realistic savings level is between 7 and 16% of your annual bill. This typically means something like $30 to $70 in annual savings. While this may not sound like a lot, consider that water heater blankets are inexpensive, easy to install, and you'll receive energy savings year-after-year.

Considering that water heaters can last 15+ years, your water heater blanket could save you over $1,000 in energy costs over the lifespan of your water heater!

Plant growing from a pile of coins

Do Hot Water Heater Blankets Really Work?

Yes! Water heater blankets really work! They're essentially an add-on feature that can be applied to any tank-style water heater to improve its energy efficiency. They're also very easy to install. You just need to wrap the blanket around the heater and secure it in place.

Even better, water heater blankets are very inexpensive.

It's worth noting that water heater blankets typically work even better in cold weather environments. You could get even more savings by Installing one if you live in a cold weather climate.

Water Heater Blanket Ratings

Water heater blankets use a simple rating measurement called R-value. R-value is determined by how well insulation can resist heat flow. The higher the R-value of the blanket, the more insulation power it'll provide.

The highest consumer R-value blanket is an R-11 and when installed correctly, it could retain up to 96% of what would otherwise be lost heat. At minimum your blank should be rated R-8, but the higher the number the better.

Install built with wooden blocks

How To Install a Water Heater Blanket

Installing a new water heater blanket isn't very difficult. However, you'll want to make sure the area surrounding the heater is clear so you'll have plenty of room to work. These blankets are large and can be difficult to handle. Having an extra set of hands can be a huge help too.

  • Turn off your water heater.
  • Open the blanket and lay it flat on the floor. If the blanket has fiberglass in it, be sure to use a dust mask and gloves to limit your exposure.
  • Cut the blanket to fit your water heater if necessary.
  • Wrap the blanket around the water heater. Tape it lightly into place once finished.
  • Use a marker to mark the areas where the controls of the water heater are located. Cut those areas out around the controls so that you can access them as needed.
  • Complete the installation process by taping the blanket into its permanent place and trim excess from the top. Always make sure your heater has plenty of ventilation.
  • Turn the water heater back on.

Watch the Video

The Best Water Heater Blankets

Here are our top six favorite water heater blankets:

Reflective Foil Hot Water Tank Heater Jacket

The water heater blanket made by Reflective Foil is absolutely worth the investment. It is one of the highest rated blankets on Amazon and its foil stops 97% of radiant heat loss, making it easier for your water heater to maintain consistent standby water temperatures. 

The Reflective Foil water heater blanket fits most 40 gallon tanks and is 76" x 1" x 48" in size, although it is available for other sized tanks. It's built with commercial-grade materials and tested and rated for fire safety.


Reflective Foil Water Heater Jacket

Smart Jacket Water Heater Blanket Insulation

The Smart Jacket Water Heater Blanket Insulation stands out with its high R-value and extra-thick design. Combined, these factors enable the blanket to reduce your water heater's heat loss by 40%.

This jacket will fit water heaters up to 80-gallons, has a 5-millimeter thickness, and is 24" x 9.8" x 8.2" in size. With a 7.1 R-value, heat loss is reduced by 40%. Its constructed without fiberglass.

Water Heater Blanket Insulation, "NON FIBERGLASS", Fits up to 80 Gallons, Energy Star Certified,

Smart Jacket Water Heater Blanket

Frost King SP57/11C All Season Blanket

The Frost King SP57/11C All Season Blanket could be considered the best budget water heater blanket on the market. It fits tanks up to 60-gallons and is 3-inches thick, and 48" x 75" in size. However, there are other sizes and thicknesses available.

It is constructed with a vinyl-faced fiberglass with foil on each side, and includes a roll of foil tape for easy installation, and has an impressive 10.0 R-value rating.

Frost King SP57/11C All Season Water Heater Insulation Blanket, 3” Thick x 48” x 75”, R10

Frost King All Season Water Heater Blanket

Reflectix ST16025 Staple Tab Insulation Roll

The Reflextix ST16025 Staple Tab Insulation Roll is definitely a water heater blanket you should consider. It's staple tab edge makes the blanket incredibly easy to install, and the perforated bubble lining technology provides added insulation.

Condensation is all but eliminated with this fiber-free, environmentally-safe design. It's 16-inches x 25-feet and 5/16-inch thick, with seven layers. It is also available in other sizes. This product works great for water heaters but can also be used for other insulating jobs.

Reflectix ST16025 Staple Tab Insulation Roll, 16 in. x 25 ft

Reflectix ST16025 Staple Tab  Insulation Roll

US Energy Products Water Heater Blanket

This blanket is one of the toughest on the market, it won't tear or rip and the industrial-strength construction can fit water heaters from 20- to 80-gallons. It features a radiant barrier wrap for added weatherproofing.

The US Energy water heater blanket can reduce heat loss up to 40% and lower utility bills. It has an R-Value rating of 8, which meets the U.S. Department of Energy minimum recommendation. Its waterproof and class 1 fire rated, and made from non-fiberglass materials.

US Energy Products Water Heater Blanket Insulation,"Non Fiberglass", Fits up to 80 Gallons Tank Industrial Strength, Commercial Grade, No Tear, Radiant Barrier Wrap for Weatherproofing

US Energy Products Water Heater Blanket

SmartSHIELD Reflective Insulation Shield

The SmartSHIELD Reflective Insulation Shield is one of the most effective options on the market today. It can reflect 97% of radiant heat, setting you up for huge savings on your next energy bill. It is 3mm thick and is 46.5" x 10" x 10" in size.

This is a multipurpose quality reflective foam insulation that is commercial grade. It's uses are nearly endless, but it also makes an excellent water heater blanket wrap, and it's class 1 fire rated.

SmartSHIELD -3mm 24"x50Ft Reflective Insulation roll, Foam Core Radiant Barrier, Thermal Insulation Shield, Commercial Grade (24"x50')

SmartSHIELD Reflective Insulation Shield

Plumber with wrench in front of water heater

Other Ways to Save

Purchasing and installing a new water heater blanket is just one of the ways that you can save money on your energy bills by optimizing the performance of your water heater.

If you'd like to find more ways to lower your bill, consider reaching out to a plumbing professional in your area. They can provide you with personalized savings tips and perform work which will optimize the performance of your water heating system.

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