Should I Insulate My Water Pipes?
When we think about insulating our pipes, it’s usually to protect against frozen and busted pipes during frigid temperatures. We don’t get a lot of freezing temperatures in our area but this winter has been an exception to the rule. Not all homeowners know, however, that insulating hot water pipes is also a boost to energy efficiency.
Some Like it Hot
Obviously, insulating your hot water pipes will help keep your hot water hot. If you have a traditional tank water heater, you are already paying to have water on standby. Pipe insulation will allow the hot water waiting in your pipes will cool down more slowly.
If you like an especially hot shower or hotter water for washing dishes, proper insulation can actually add a few degrees to your water temperature – making the cost well it. An added benefit is that it will take water less time to heat to your desired temperature – thus saving water.
Pipe insulation can also help quiet annoying noisy pipes.
Protection from the Cold
If your cold water pipes run through any area that lacks climate control (such as a basement, attic, or outdoor above ground) - you run the risk of frozen pipes in the winter. Frozen pipes can cause a lot of problems and result in costly repairs. Simply insulting your pipes can help prevent this from happening.
On the flip side, this same pipe, if exposed to the summer heat, can result in warm – even hot – water coming from your taps. Insulation can help in this case as well.
Insulating your cold water pipes can also help eliminate condensation. We live in a high-humidity environment causing metal pipes filled with cold water to become covered in condensation. Condensation creates droplets that fall – potentially damaging anything that lies below.
DIY or PRO?
If you don’t mind crawling or climbing into often hard-to-reach places, it can generally be pretty simple to install your own pipe insulation. Often you just need to purchase sleeves, cut them to length and secure them in place with tape. If you choose, however, to hand this project over to a pro, contact us and we will be glad to help.