Project: Wrap Your Water Heater and Hot Water Pipes

Keep your water warm and cozy.

Keeping your water hot is a full-time job for your water heater.  Even when you’re not using hot water, the water in the tank loses heat — especially since it’s typically in a cool basement or garage — and so it has to run day and night to keep the water hot and ready for you.  The same goes for the pipes that carry your hot water — they cool down and then have to heat up again before you can get hot water.  An insulating blanket on your water heater and insulating wraps on your hot water pipes save energy, and you won’t have to wait as long for the water to get hot at the faucet.


U.S. Department of Energy overview: Insulating your water heater

How-to Video: Insulating your water heater.


How-to Video: Adjusting the water heater temperature and insulating the hot water pipes.

Hot water faster — that’s a good incentive! If your hot water heater is outdated and due for replacement, you may qualify for a rebate. Check for appliance rebates in the Incentives & Programs section.

Montgomery County residents can get a $250 Property Tax Credit when adding wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket.

Weatherization Services from Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County

Is there a difference between insulating an electric and gas water heater?

Yes! Electrics are typically easier. You can use a pre-fitted insulation blanket, but you will probably have to cut a hole in the insulation to allow access to the temperature control (which is often behind a removable plate). On a gas heater, it is critical to cut holes in the insulation large enough to avoid the pilot light. If the pilot light is covered or the hole is not large enough, there is high risk of starting a fire. Read the instructions carefully to ensure all of the essential heating elements, controls and pilot lights are not covered. When in doubt contact a professional.

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Insulating hot water pipes can effectively raise water temperature two to four degrees vs. uninsulated pipes, which means you can lower your water heater setting and still be comfortable in the shower.

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