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Energy-Efficiency Enhancing Technologies: Increased Jacket Insulation

Another area of significant heat loss is through the sides and top or "jacket" of a water heater. To combat these heat losses, water heater jackets are insulated–either with fiberglass or more often with polyurethane foam because it offers lower thermal conductivity and is less expensive to install. Increasing jacket insulation can reduce standby loss, however, thicker insulation adds to the size (diameter) and shipping cost of the water heater. Insulation on most of today's water heaters is at least 1-inch thick, but can range up to 2 or 3-inches thick depending on manufacturer.