When it comes to protecting your home and saving money, few things are easier than insulating domestic water pipes. “Domestic water” refers to all the water that comes into a building; in your home, this covers everything from your taps to the garden hose and water that fills the dishwasher. Though you’ll save the most energy by insulating hot water pipes, both hot and cold domestic water pipes can benefit from insulation.
Why Use Water Pipe Insulation?
There are a number of reasons for insulating water pipes, and together they make a compelling case for this simple, affordable home project. Insulating domestic water pipes can:
- Prevent heat loss from the pipes between the water heater and faucets
- Save energy and decrease your heating bill
- Keep pipes from freezing in the winter
- Prevent burns when hot water pipes are exposed
- Control condensation, particularly in humid climates with cold water supplies
- Reduce the expansion and contraction of pipes due to temperature changes
Ideally, hot water pipes should be insulated from the water heater all the way to their destination, while cold water pipes may be insulated only near the water heater tank.
Insulating hot water pipes will reduce the heat lost between the water heater and the fixture, increasing the temperature of the water delivered to the faucet, showerhead, or washing machine. A higher delivered water temperature means that you have the option to turn your water heater down by a few degrees.
Reducing the temperature of your water heater by 10 degrees, you reduce the energy cost by 3-5%. A reduction of even 5 degrees can save you $10-$15, which covers the cost of the insulation itself!
Is Water Pipe Insulation Worth the Cost?
Heating water often accounts for about 8% of the total energy used in residential properties, costing the average household $400-$600 a year. Pipes carrying the recently heated water run throughout your home, often hidden underground and in unheated areas like the basement, crawl space, attic, and inside walls.
Depending on when and how your home was built, some of these water pipes may be exposed, which makes it easier to install the insulation yourself. If you’re in the process of building a new home, now is the time to have all of your water pipes insulated. It will never be this easy again!
For a small home, installing pipe insulation will cost about $10-$15 and will probably save $8-$12 a year. That may not seem like much, but the life of a copper pipe is more than 50 years. If you insulate new copper pipes, you could be looking at between $400 and $600 in savings (and that’s if energy prices stay the same).
Insulating pipes has more value for some people than others. You’ll get even more benefit from insulation if the fuel used for heating your home is very expensive, your water pipes cover a large distance or are exposed to very cold air, you use a lot of water, or if you live in a high humidity area with cold incoming water (excessive condensation can lead to mold and other complications).
No one in the area has more experience with insulation installations than we do. If you have advice about picking a brand or need to order product, we’d love to talk.
Just contact us today and we can help you find exactly what you need!