Insulating a hot water heater
December 13, 2003 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know how to insulate a hot water heater?
posted by adampsyche to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Very often the electric company (or the water company, or the gas company) will do it for you for free as part of an "energy efficiency audit". Ours did.

If not, you should be able to buy a water heater wrap kit at your nearest Home Despot or other such hardware behemoth. It's just a fiberglass-insulation wrap thingie you pull over the top of the heater.
posted by briank at 7:36 PM on December 13, 2003

Don't forget the pipes -- obviously the hot supplies are the most important -- modern hot water heaters are fairly well insulated out of the box, but those copper pipes are brutal. Copper conducts heat as well as it conducts electricity and if it feels warm to the touch it's costing you money.

The foam slip on stuff is adequate, just remember to tape the seams and around joints, valves and the like. You don't need the special tape, it's fancy duct tape that costs three times as much as the regular.

If the hot water heater is particularly old you may want to consider replacement, modern efficient models are not particularly expensive and pay for themselves quickly. If you fall within the income guidelines (surprisingly high) most areas have an energy efficiency program of some sort where they will subsidize a portion of the cost for insulation (or pay for it entirely, if your poor enough).
posted by cedar at 7:42 AM on December 14, 2003

cool beans. thanks.
posted by adampsyche at 5:51 PM on December 14, 2003

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