Do you need to prepare your water heater for winter? Often this is called winterizing a water heater, and is a part of the preparation required when you are leaving a home or other building unoccupied and unheated for the winter. Some preparation for winter is a good idea, even if you are not leaving your home empty.
If the house is to be unheated during a sub-freezing winter, draining of the water heater and all the pipes will be required. Serious damage from freezing can result if this is neglected. You may wish to add an insulating blanket to your water heater to increase efficiency, even though the home is inhabited over the winter.
In addition to insulating your water heater tank, you can use sleeves made for the purpose or insulation tape to protect the pipes leading from your water heater. A lot of heat can be lost before the hot water gets to its destination. While you are in this insulation mode, you can use tape, sheet insulation, or other products to seal any openings where pipes or power supplies enter the building.
It is a good idea to have your local plumbing and heating contractor take a look at your water heater and plumbing system before winter. That professional can advise if there are repairs needed, while there is still plenty of time before the cold weather sets in.