I'm sure you've noticed the change in seasons by now. Fall brings cooler weather, and with it my thoughts turn to warm things like putting blankets on the couch, enjoying my fireplace, and adjusting my thermostat  (as little as possible, of course).
One thing we did over the weekend is we insulated our water heater . Depending on how efficient your water heater tank is, adding insulation can reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs. Since water heating contributes an average of 18% to the typical home utility bill, it's definitely worth it to add insulation! The package I bought was under $25, and it only took my husband and me about 15 minutes to install it.
How we use energy in our homes. Water heating accounts for about 18% of the average home utility bill.
So how can you tell if your water heater tank needs insulation? 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.
There are several ways to save money by increasing the efficiency of your water heater:
- Reduce your hot water use 
- Lower your water heating temperature 
- Insulate your water heater tank 
- Insulate hot water pipes 
- Install heat traps on a water heater tank 
- Install a timer and use off-peak power for an electric water heater 
- Install a drain-water heat recovery system .
If you're looking for more ways to prepare your home for cooler weather, check out our seasonal tips on saving money & energy at home .
Andrea Spikes is a communicator at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its websites.