Hot Water Heater Blanket

Cost –  $30

Savings –  $45/year[1]

Installation time –  90 minutes

Materials/Tools –  Water heater wrap kit, scissors, utility knife, marker, tape measure, gloves.

Maintenance –  None

         Unless your water heater's storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45%.  This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs.

         If you don't know your water heater tank's R-value, touch it.  A tank that's warm to the touch needs additional insulation.

         Insulating your storage water heater tank is fairly simple and inexpensive, and it will pay for itself in about a year.  You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $20.


1.    Cut the tank top insulation to fit around the piping in the top of the tank.  Tape the cut section closed after the top has been installed.

2.    Fold the corners of the tank top insulation down and tape to the sides of the tank.

3.    Position the insulating blanket around the circumference of the tank.

4.    Secure the blanket in place with the belts provided.  Position the belts so they do not go over the access panels.

5.    If your water heater has the temperature/pressure relief valve and the overflow pipe on the side of the tank instead of on the top, install the blanket so these items are outside of the blanket.

6.    Locate the four corners of the access panel(s).  Make an x-shaped cut in the insulating blanket from corner to corner of each access panel.

7.    Fold the triangular flaps produced by the cuts underneath the insulating blanket.  Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the rating/instruction plate.

Insulating a gas hot water heater requires additional steps to avoid covering the pilot light area.  For complete instructions, visit