Many factors go into your home's overall energy efficiency. While you may have the most energy-efficient water heater that you can get, it will not matter if the pipes coming out of the hot water heater are not insulated. The energy that is used for heating in your home make up a large part of your overall energy bill, so it doesn't make sense to waste energy that could be easily prevented. One way to do this is by insulating your water pipes. It is a simple task that you can do on your own and can see some benefits in terms of cost savings. Here are some tips for doing it on your own.
Insulate The Hot And Cold Water Pipes
You may think that you only need to insulate your hot water pipes, but if you are going through the trouble of doing so, you might as well insulate the cold water pipes as well. The insulation can give the cold water pipes some additional warmth that will help prevent the pipes from freezing in very cold weather. Do yourself a favour and insulate both sets of pipes at the same time to avoid frozen pipes down the road.
Decide On Fiberglass Or Foam
There are two ways that you can insulate a pipe, using either fibreglass insulation or foam. Both of these materials can be purchased from a local home improvement store, and they are both very effective at providing insulation. The difference between these two materials is how they are applied.
Foam insulation comes in long sections that have a cut along the length, allowing you to easily slip it around the pipe after cutting the foam to the proper length. Fibreglass insulation is on a long roll and wraps around the pipe. It is best for navigating around sections of pipe that have many twists and turns, or pipes that are so close to a wall that you cannot easily install foam insulation around it.
The trick to installing fibreglass insulation is to wrap it around the pipe with the foil on the outside of the pipe. Make sure to overlap each piece of fibreglass insulation, and secure it with duct tape so that it does not unravel on the pipe. Foam insulation is much easier to install since it only needs to be cut to the exact length of each pipe, There is often a sticky adhesive strip that can be revealed on the foam to help the foam stick together. If not, you can also use duct tape, which is handy for plumbing repairs.