The best water heater blanket can help families save up to 16% in water heating expenditures by reducing standby heat losses by as much as 45%. Even expensive water heater blankets can pay for themselves in less than a year, making water heater insulation an excellent choice for people who want to economize.
Although water heater covers look the same, they differ in some aspects. One’s choice of the right insulation jacket for water tank reflects one’s understanding of several crucial parameters. We examined many factors impacting a water heater blanket’s performance and what buyers should consider. We determined the three following attributes to be essential.
- Insulating Performance: Insulating materials have an R-value that describes their ability to resist or prevent heat transfer. Ideally, the higher a water heater blanket’s R-value, the better. Hence, an R11 water heater blanket is more effective in minimizing standby heat loss than a thermal shroud with an R8 rating.
- Material: Water heater blankets feature different insulating materials. Many people use fiberglass because its R-value is higher than other materials’, including foil and foam insulation. Unfortunately, fiberglass insulation can be challenging and tedious to install.
- Thickness: The thicker the insulating material, the better the water heater blanket is in minimizing standby heat loss. Unfortunately, insulation depth can also impact the water heater blanket’s installation ease. For example, thin materials are more straightforward to wrap around the tank.
We also identified other factors crucial in choosing the right water heater blanket. We will present these attributes in the following water heater blanket reviews and buying guide to help prospective buyers make the correct buying decision.
Table of Contents
List of 11 Top-rated Water Heater Blanket Reviews
1. Frost King SP57/11C Water Heater Insulation Blanket
Many families consider the Frost King SP57/11C one of the top-rated water heater blankets on the market because of its high R-value and excellent heat retention capability.
This hot water heater insulation blanket has an R-value of 10.0, making it one of the best in retaining heat and minimizing heat transfer from the appliance when it’s not in use. I commend the company for using high-quality vinyl-backed fiberglass to improve its heat transfer resistance. This product guarantees better energy savings for any family while improving heater efficiency.
I like this fiberglass insulation blanket because of its three-inch-thick insulation. I can only imagine the billions of micro air pockets between its fiberglass filaments. The more air bubbles are present, the better the material is in preventing heat transfer because air does not conduct heat.
I am surprised this product works with different heater types, including gas, electric, and oil. Families will never have to look for a gas water heater-specific thermal blanket again with this product. Completing the installation is also a breeze because of the insulation blanket’s super-sticky foil tape. The wrap will never detach from the tank once secured.
2. SmartJacket SJ-80 Non-fiberglass Water Heater Blanket
The SmartJacket SJ-80 is perfect for people looking for an 80 gallon water heater blanket. It is safe and easy to install, as families can wrap this product around their heaters within minutes without worrying about fiberglass dust exposure. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the top-tier water heater blankets one can buy.
Although its R-value is only 7.1, it is within industry standards. I admire the company for designing such an effective heater insulation jacket. The insulation features an advanced closed-cell polyethylene foam for better heat resistance, reducing standby heat loss by up to 40%. On the foam is a high-tech 99% aluminum foil that transfers heat back to the heater.
I appreciate its Energy Star certification, giving people peace of mind regarding the water heater blanket’s energy efficiency claims. It is like a seal of approval that dispels any doubts about the product’s performance.
I also appreciate this material’s versatility, empowering homeowners to wrap it around their electric or gas heaters. Installation is never an issue because it is more flexible and lightweight than fiberglass. It also does not matter if one has a 20-gallon unit or an 80-gallon water heating system because this hot water tank cover fits both.
3. Frost King SP60 All Season Water Heater Insulation Blanket
The Frost King SP60 All Season Water Heater Blanket is one of the high-quality water heater blankets on the market. It has a high heat transfer resistance value and exceptional construction, guaranteeing better cost savings and lower energy consumption for modern families.
As with the SP57/11C, I love this insulation blanket’s R-value. Its R10 rating resists heat transfer more effectively than foam insulation and foil wraps. The rating underscores the blanket’s ability to prevent heat from dissipating into the outside environment, ensuring a more efficient heater operation. It also translates to better savings because the heater only needs to heat the water slightly.
The three-inch-thick vinyl backed fiberglass insulation is also commendable. It can replace a standard Rheem water heater blanket and empower the family to enjoy better heater performance. The air pockets in the fiberglass prevent heat from escaping into the air.
People will never worry about the water heater blanket’s compatibility, either. It works with oil, gas and electric heaters of varying sizes. The blanket’s 90-inch length can wrap around a water heating tank with a maximum diameter of 28.5 inches.
I also appreciate the super-sticky foil tape in the package. People no longer need to buy this material to install the water heater blanket.
4. AES Industries NASA Tech Water Heater Tank Insulation Wrap
Insulating hot water heater is as straightforward as wrapping a reflective material around the tank. The question now is which insulation one should use. One of the most reliable water heater blankets on the market is the AES Industries NASA Tech Wrap. Not only is it effortless to install, but this product also has a higher R-value than similar designs.
I love this thermal jacket’s R-value of 8.2, proving its quality construction. Its thicker foam core insulation translates to more effective heat loss prevention. The material reduces standby heat loss by up to 40%, ensuring families have hot water almost instantly. Losing heat from the water heating system will never be a problem again.
People wary of inhaling toxic and carcinogenic substances will also be glad about this hot water heater cover. It does not contain particles that can wreak havoc to one’s health when inhaled or come in contact with the skin.
I appreciate its substantial size, making it ideal for households with varying heater sizes. One can wrap it around a 20-gallon tank or an 80-gallon unit. It works with gas and electric water heaters, adding to its versatility.
5. ECOSHADES 00066 Water Heater Insulation Jacket
Most non-fiberglass water heater blankets have a foam core to prevent heat from escaping. The ECOSHADES 00066 hot water heater insulator does not. Instead, this product combines bubbles and the reflective foil surface of traditional thermal jackets.
I appreciate the company’s ingenious creation, combining the best features of fiberglass and foil water tank heater insulation. The 3/16-inch-thick core features a layer of air bubbles, preventing heat from transferring from the heater to the outside environment. Sandwiching the air layer is a pair of highly-reflective commercial-grade foil, transmitting heat back to the heater.
The unique design gives this water heater blanket the ability to prevent up to 97% radiant heat loss. Although households might not notice the difference by looking at their heaters, they will appreciate the savings they get from their monthly energy bills.
I also love this thermal blanket’s Class A fire rating. Hot water heater blankets like this one retain heat, but not to the extent of causing fires. I also admire the inclusion of an aluminum tape, tape measure, straight edge, utility knife, and installation guide in the kit. These items can make setups more hassle-free. Also, this product is perfect for 40-gallon heaters with a maximum circumference of 76 inches.
6. M-D Building 4663 Water Heater Blanket
The M-D Building Products 4663 is another water heater insulated blanket worth checking out. It features a fiberglass core sandwiched between two reflective surfaces to provide better heat retention for the heater.
Unsurprisingly, this water heater blanket works like Frost King products. One can wrap it around an electric heater, a gas-fed or oil-fired water heating system. People will appreciate its versatility because they can use it on almost any heater type. The maximum tank diameter it can accommodate is 23 inches or a circumference of 75 inches.
The fiberglass core is two inches thick, an inch thinner than the Frost King SP60. It is sufficient to reduce energy costs by limiting radiant thermal loss. I also recommend it to families living in warmer climates because of its 6.7 R-value.
I applaud M-D Building Products for including an adhesive patch with the rolled water heater blanket. I also appreciate the carrying bag it comes in instead of the usual plastic packaging of most water heater blankets.
7. SmartJacket SJ-60 Water Heater Blanket
The SmartJacket SJ-60 is a water heater insulation jacket that reduces standby heat loss by 40%, translating to better energy savings for the modern family. It is effortless to install, allowing homeowners to embark on a worthwhile DIY project.
I love this thermal blanket’s ability to minimize heat loss, improving water heater efficiency by 95%. Families will never have to worry about extended recovery times, ensuring a sufficient warm water supply for everyone in the household.
While an R-value of 7.1 might seem mediocre, it still bests other products with lower R-values. It easily outclasses fiberglass water heater blankets with a measly 5.0 R-rating. Families living in temperate zones should have no issues maintaining their heater’s performance with this item.
I admire its use of a heavy-duty foam core that absorbs the heat from the water heater before reflecting it into the system. This water heater blanket also features pure aluminum foil for optimum reflectivity.
I laud the company for offering a five-year warranty on this water heater blanket. At least I know they stand by their product’s quality. One can insulate electric and gas water heaters with this thermal blanket, from a 20-gallon unit to a 60-gallon tank.
8. AES Industries Bb-223 Water Heater Blanket
People love the AES Industries Bb-223 Water Heater Blanket because of its excellent combination of installation ease, performance, and safety. It is large enough to cover an 80-gallon heater, making it one of the top-rated water heater blankets on the market.
I love this thermal jacket’s completeness, which makes it easy to perform a DIY water heater blanket installation. The instructions are simple to follow. One can have this blanket around the water heater in less than ten minutes.
I am also surprised with its R8 rating, considering it is only a quarter of an inch thick. It bests other non-fiberglass materials on the market because of its higher heat transfer resistance. I believe this performance is due to its unique spacers. The company integrates air bubble-like spacers between two layers of reflective materials, giving it exceptional insulation.
I also love its Class A fire rating. The problem with some water heater blankets is that they tend to get too hot and catch fire if the temperature gets too high. At least, families will never worry about burning their house with this blanket covering their water heating system.
Since it has no fiberglass, handling and installation are also safer and worry-free. One does not need goggles, gloves, and other protective equipment to set up this thermal jacket.
9. Reach Barrier 3016 Water Heater Insulation Kit
Families who want an affordable water tank insulation wrap can pick the Reach Barrier 3016 Water Heater Insulation Kit. It is one of the most practical water heater jackets on this list with advanced insulation capabilities.
Just because it is affordable does not mean it has mediocre quality. On the contrary, this water heater insulation features a non-toxic bubble core that prevents heat from escaping. Its design allows the water heater to maintain its ideal water temperature, blocking up to 95% radiant heat. People will have an instant warm water supply when they need it.
The air bubble core is 5/32-inch wide and laminated with high-quality reflective polyethylene layers. As heat moves from the heater, it bounces off the shiny surface to ensure better energy savings. I am glad this water heater blanket meets ASTM standards, giving me peace of mind about its quality and performance.
10. MWS US Energy Products Water Heater Blanket
The MWS insulating blanket for hot water heater is an affordable and effective choice for improving heater performance and reducing energy bills. Its insulation performance allows homeowners to enjoy up to 9% savings in water heating.
I admire its ability to limit heat flow. According to the company, this water heater blanket can reduce standby heat loss by 40%. This performance allows water heaters to recover their ideal water temperatures faster than without this thermal shroud.
I like its two-layer air bubble core, which prevents heat from dissipating into the outside air. Its reflective foil contributes to the water heater wrap’s ability to resist heat flow. It enhances a water heater’s efficiency, ensuring families will enjoy hot water without using much electricity.
This thermal blanket’s universal design makes it suitable for oil, gas, and electric water heaters. One can wrap this water heater blanket around a 20-gallon tank or an 80-gallon unit without worrying about the adhesive tape peeling off. The tape has a super-sticky surface that secures the insulation well.
I was surprised with the water heater blanket’s price, given its heat retention properties. It is good news for families on tight budgets.
11. Thermwell SP57-5 Water Heater Insulation Blanket
One might notice the uncanny similarities between the Thermwell SP57-5 hot water heater jacket and Frost King products. It should not be surprising because Frost King is one of the brands under Thermwell Industries. Hence, one can expect this water heater blanket’s quality to be on par with Frost King products, with some differences.
This hot water heater blanket comes with a vinyl material sandwiching the 1.5-inch-thick fiberglass core, making it more lightweight and flexible than the other Frost King products. One person can install this water heater cover without requiring assistance. The accompanying plastic tape is also super tacky, making it a cinch to secure the wrap on water heater tanks.
Like many Frost King products, this water heater blanket is compatible with oil-fired, gas-fed, and electric heaters. Families can use it on their water tanks with a maximum circumference of 75 inches or a diameter of 23 inches. This thermal blanket should prove substantial coverage for a 40-gallon or 60-gallon heater.
What to Look for When Buying Water Heater Blankets
Buying an insulation blanket for water heater systems is not different from choosing a jacket for cold weather use. People will want to retain as much heat as possible. To do that, they must consider a few things before buying thermal insulation for their water heaters.
All thermal barriers have an R-value that describes their ability to resist heat transfer from one side of the material to the other. Insulation blankets with high R-values allow families to save energy and enjoy a lower electric bill.
Most water heater blankets have R-values between 7.0 and 8.0, although it is not unusual to have R10 or R11. Some water heater jackets might not have R-values in their product information guide. Instead, manufacturers offer a different metric for evaluating the water heater blanket’s insulating performance.
It would be best to understand that a thermal blanket’s R-rating should suit your water heater. If one has a brand-new water heater with a high R-rating, it would be safe to get a hot water tank blanket with an R-score of 5.0 for extra insulation. The opposite is true if one has an old or low R-value heater. The extra insulation must be sufficiently high to optimize the heater’s efficiency and performance.
Hot water tank insulation material can impact a water heater blanket’s insulating performance.
Fiberglass has tiny air pockets between individual fiberglass filaments. These spaces do not conduct heat, making them efficient in insulating the heater. Most manufacturers laminate the fiberglass with either foil to improve its heat loss reduction capabilities.
Unfortunately, cutting fiberglass can release fibrous particles, dust, debris, and other microscopic objects into the air. These substances can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, and other exposed body parts.
This water heater insulation addresses the safety issues inherent in fiberglass materials. The top and bottom layers feature foil, while the middle section consists of air pockets or bubbles.
Aside from water heaters, foil-bubble can be used for food products and walls/ceilings. Unfortunately, this material has a slightly lower insulating power than fiberglass.
This insulation material looks like a foil-bubble thermal blanket. However, it features porous foam instead of air bubbles to create tiny spaces that do not conduct heat. One advantage of foil-foam insulation is its fire resistance.
The thicker the insulation material, the greater its ability to prevent heat loss is. It is the same with wearing a jacket. One might use several layers of clothing underneath a parka in the winter. On the other hand, a sweater is more comfortable on warmer days.
Unfortunately, insulation thickness can impact the water heater blanket’s installation ease. Thick materials are heavy and challenging to wrap around the tank. One might also need an industrial-grade adhesive to prevent the cover from peeling off.
Many people prefer foil insulation because it is more flexible, lightweight, and easy to work with.
Manufacturers pre-cut their water heater blankets to accommodate various water heater sizes. For example, a 60-gallon heater wrap should also fit 20-gallon to 50-gallon hot water tanks. However, it would be best to check the water heater’s height and circumference and compare them to the thermal blanket’s width and length.
For example, suppose a water heater has a diameter of 24 inches and a height of 45 inches. In that case, one must calculate the circumference first by multiplying 24 inches by 3.1416 to get 75.3984 inches. Hence, a water heater blanket that’s 76 inches long and 45 inches wide should be sufficient.
Most water heater blankets are compatible with electric and gas water heaters. Other manufacturers extend the versatility to include oil-fired heaters.
Water heater blankets trap heat, increasing the risk of causing fires. The good news is that foil-foam and fiberglass are nonflammable materials. It would be best to look for a water heater blanket with a Class A or Class 1 fire rating.
Should Water Heater Be Wrapped
The decision to insulate hot water tank depends on a few factors, including water heater age, temperature gradient, and water heater location.
New heaters can benefit from an insulating shroud to make them more efficient by minimizing heat loss. Old water heating appliances can also use thermal insulation jackets, but homeowners must decide if replacing the aging water heater makes better sense.
Indoor heaters often have closets that maintain the ideal operating temperature. One does not need a water heater shroud in such cases, unless the home’s interior is also cold. On the other hand, heaters installed outdoors or in basements should have an insulating wrap to protect them from the cold.
The temperature gradient is the difference between the tank’s operating temperature and the ambient temperature. The higher the temperature difference, the greater the need for additional insulation is.
For example, suppose the ambient temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water heater operates at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, one needs to insulate the water heater to minimize heat loss. Heat tends to dissipate into the cold air faster than in warm air.
Hence, if one lives in Arizona or New Mexico, a water heater blanket might be unnecessary unless one lives in the colder mountain regions.
What Size Water Heater Blanket Do I Need
Manufacturers of water heater insulating blankets size their products according to existing tank standard sizes. For example, one can pick a 40-gallon water heater shroud for a 30-gallon to a 40-gallon water heater.
Unfortunately, tanks with similar capacities might have different dimensions. Some might be taller and narrower than others. Hence, it would be best to measure the tank’s circumference and height to know what size water heater blanket to get.
For example, suppose the tank measures 22 inches in diameter and 56 inches in height. In that case, it would be best to calculate the tank’s circumference first by multiplying 22 inches by 3.1416 (the pi value). The result is 69.1152 or about 70 inches. Hence, the water heater blanket should be at least 56 inches tall and 70 inches wide. It would be best to add a few inches of allowance.
How to Install a Water Heater Blanket
Installing a water heater blanket cannot be more straightforward than wrapping the material around the tank and securing the edges with water heater blanket tape. Here are the steps.
- Disconnect the water heater from its power source by switching off the circuit breaker (for electric units) or turning the gas valve to pilot.
- Measure the tank’s height and circumference to determine the correct length of the water heater blanket. Ensure the blanket’s height does not go past the top of a gas water heater to facilitate more efficient exhaust.
- Wear goggles, a face mask, and gloves to prevent water heater blanket debris from getting into the eyes, nose, mouth, and skin.
- Spread the thermal shroud on the floor and inspect for any torn sections or damage.
- Ask an assistant to hold one end of the thermal blanket as you wrap the rest around the tank.
- Temporarily secure the edges with adhesive tape.
- Get a marker and outline the tank components you do not want to cover, such as the access panels and T&P relief valves when using an electric water heater blanket. If using a thermal wrap for a gas water heater, it would be best to keep the burner area open.
- Remove the thermal blanket and place it on the floor before cutting out the markings with a utility knife.
- Re-wrap the thermal jacket around the tank, ensuring the perfect alignment of the cutouts to the components.
- Secure the water heater blanket with tape.
- Power on the water heater.
Can You Put a Blanket on a Gas Hot Water Heater
Yes, one can wrap a gas water heater with an insulating material. However, homeowners must observe caution when installing the gas water heater blanket. It is essential not to cover the burner assembly and smother the flame. It would also be best not to cover the water heater’s top section to promote more efficient exhaust egress.
The best water heater blanket empowers families to save up to 16% on their water heating bills, minimizing standby heat loss from their water heaters. The best products have a high R-value, excellent insulation materials, are thick, versatile, and fire-resistant.
If one remains confused about which water heater blanket to get, our review of the 11 top-tier water heater jackets on the market is a wise start.
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