January 17, 2017

During Winter Cold Spells, Don't Forget to Bundle Up Your Water HeaterYou know you can save energy by bundling up and turning down the thermostat a few degrees in winter. But did you know you could also save energy by wrapping up your water heater? Insulating a water heating unit keeps the heat inside the tank in cold weather.

Check Your Insulation

Insulating the hot water tank is easy and inexpensive. Most newer water heaters are already adequately insulated. Check older water heaters for an insulation R-value of at least 24. If it's lower, the tank should be insulated. Pre-cut jackets or blankets are available at a relatively low cost. Some utility companies sell them for a good price, or offer rebates for installing them.

Wrapping Your Tank

Before you start your project, make sure your tank is not leaking. If it is, you need a new water heater. When you're ready to start, turn the water heater off: for gas heaters, turn the valve to "Pilot"; for electric heaters, switch off the breaker on the electric panel.

  1. Measure the height of the water tank. Cut the blanket to fit, leaving the top open so the vent isn't blocked on gas units.
  2. Wrap the blanket around the unit and tape it in place temporarily. Make sure the ends don't meet over the access panel(s) on the side of the tank.
  3. Use a felt marker to denote where the controls are: two panels on the side for an electric unit; for gas water heaters, leave a hole around the burner and gas valve. The hole should be at least an inch wider than the burner and valve area. Then draw around where the pipe and pressure release valve are.
  4. Cut out holes.
  5. Carefully line up the cut-out areas and tape the blanket in place.
  6. Turn the unit back on. If you have an electric unit, be sure that it's set no higher than 130 degrees F with an insulating blanket or it could overheat.

Need more information on how to save money with your water heater and other appliances? Contact Russell's Heating and Cooling, serving the Hampton Roads area of Southeast Virginia. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chesapeake, Virginia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 757-750-1831. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Maintenance Plans

Russell's HVAC, HVAC service technician, VA

Regular annual maintenance keeps your system operating at peak efficiency. Experience has shown that a system that runs well keeps your utility costs in line — in fact, independent 3rd party research shows that you can save over $30 per month on utility bills.

Specials

Just like your annual physical at the doctor’s office keeps you healthy, an annual tune-up or safety and efficiency check on your heating and cooling systems can keep your home working smoothly.

What Our Customers Are Saying

  • I can't complement your team enough on the wonderful job done with regard to the installation of the new system in our home. More specifically, we want to recognize the outstanding efforts of: Roberto-- the initial visit and diagnosis of the problem.

    Dan & Connie, Virginia Beach
  • I recently had your team install a new gas package unit including all new duct work at my house in Chesapeake. I had a split system that had undersized ducting which was removed by your installers.

    Mike & Sandi, Chesapeake, VA
  • We purchased a one time service for $79. They came out on time, checked out the geothermal system...they were very professional and kind.

    Nicholas H., Chesapeake, VA
  • We would like to thank your company for an excellent job. We are very pleased with the new (Mitsubishi ductless mini split) system that was installed last week. It works wonderfully at heating our home.

    Danny and Teresa S., Chesapeake, VA
  • Not one single idea for improvement. Keep doing what you do. OUTSTANDING!

    Charles J., Norfolk, VA
  • Great job!...World class employees!

    Colleen & Jim C., Suffolk, VA
  • Everything went great! This is the second big project we've had done through Russell's and we couldn't be more happy! We had the most dedicated, polite, and respectful crew! The team consisted of Elliot, Chase and Sean. Sean was here for the removal process on day one, and did awesome!

    J. Luhan, VA Beach
  • Hi Nate, please pass along our appreciation for you, Elliot and Steve. We are very happy with you being able to arrange our ( Lennox ) replacement system so quickly!

    T. Johnson, VA Beach
  • Thank you for running a top notch company and sending over to us two excellent folks Terry and Shawn. They did an awesome job putting in our new furnace system. Also thank you for Donald and Nate who did a superb job as well. Please reward these guys with some sort of commendations or rewards....

  • ...folks need to know how wonderful working with Russell's Heating & Air Conditioning is. They were very professional all the way thru the process of getting our unit installed down to the payment plan. I have been telling our neighbors and my co-workers about the experience.

    Pamela F., Chesapeake, VA
  • Every moment from the time an appointment was set up until the day the work was completed was a pleasure. Every employee was a delight to work with. The proof that the product was great came when the electric bills started coming in the airconditioning season.

    Douglas P., VA Beach
  • I am extremely satisfied with both the Lennox unit I purchased and the employees of Russell's. Even with poor window and door quality in this overly tired house, I am actually cooled off sufficiently enough to call it chilly.

    Robin W., Chesapeake, VA
  • Over the years I have gained the utmost trust in my service technician Corey Lesko's knowledge and work ethic while servicing my system.

  • I am writing this letter to commend your company on a great job! We were very pleased with how the company performed in every area...the installers did an impeccable job. They were very knowledgeable, efficient, and hard workers—staying focused to the task in the extreme heat.

    Pastor Larry E. O'Brien, Churchland Assembly of God
  • A year ago, I contracted with Russell's to tune up and clean the heating and cooling system. How impressively your specialist cleaned my system...he also found a defective automatic (programmable) thermostat. Quite quickly, he replaced my automatic thermostat. The results?

    R. Snider, Norfolk, VA
  • You recently installed a new Trane unit for us. We want you to know we are completely satisfied. The outside unit is now a hum versus the roar of the old one...we also want to recognize the installer...we cannot overstate what we think of his workmanship.

    K. Hawkins, Portsmouth, VA
  • Great and prompt service – as usual. Everything from ordering the a/c unit to installation went smoothly. Thanks for everything.

    B. Fenstermaker, VA Beach
  • Everyone was very nice. I felt well informed about my purchase. Your staff is great! I don't usually return opinion forms, but you need to know you have a staff you can be proud of!

    V. Horn, Chesapeake, VA
  • You have a new customer for life and I will definitely tell all my friends about your prompt, courteous service, your knowledgeable technicians, and your very reasonable prices. Thank you very much Russell's. You warmed much more than just my heart!

    G. Knoop, Chesapeake, VA
  • Your company was very responsive to my needs. The quality of your work was extremely high.

    Ms. Bright, Chesapeake, VA
  • Your workers actually made this total replacement project an enjoyable learning experience...they were always willing to stop and answer any questions. Their pleasant and cooperative attitudes cannot be praised enough!

    J. Wellons, Portsmouth, VA
  • Very pleased with both the price and service. The installation went off without a hitch and everything exceeded our expectations. When finished, the work areas, including the attic, were so clean you couldn't tell anything had been done.

    T. Marsh, VA Beach
  • Great expertise and timely service.

    H. Turbeville, Chesapeake, VA