Insulating Pipes To Save Energy – A How-To Guide
The benefits of insulating household hot water pipes are endless. Not only will you automatically increase the temperature at which you water leave the pipe, but you will also have on heating costs. Additionally, insulated pipes are far less likely to burst under extreme circumstances and weather conditions, further saving you money.
When the outlet temperature of the water is increased, you will find that you can easily turn down the geyser temperature and still achieve the same heat flow. The time it takes for an insulated pipe to warm water is also greatly reduced. This, in turn, means that you’ll be waiting much less time for the water to actually heat up and you will be saving on water costs.
Pipe insulation can either be done by a professional, while the house is being built or it can be undertaken by you. It is not an easy task, but the rewards would be worth it. While individual circumstances differ greatly, it is always advised that if you should feel uncomfortable in doing the insulation or find that the job you are undertaking was far bigger than you thought, you need to call in a professional to assist.
Before You Start
You need to research and find the right insulation for the purpose. You also need to know how much you will need. Then you want to know the exact size of the pipe you are insulating. To find the perfect sizing you will want to measure the inside of the pipe sleeve against the diameter of the outside of the pipe. As for the materials used; you need to know that the most commonly used material for gas-heated pipes is fiberglass wrapping or fiberglass-based insulation. Electrically heated systems, on the other hand, work best with polyethylene foam.
Firstly, you’ll need a tape measure. Secondly, you’ll need the insulation of your choice, based on the heating system you have. Then you want to make sure that you have something to secure your insulation in place. A good rule of thumb to go buy is that cable ties or duct tape work well on polyethylene while foil-based taping or wire works best with fiberglass-based products. You’ll also need to keep in mind that you need gloves when working with fiberglass. Then, you’ll need a box cutter and a head-lamp.
When you get started you want to measure the pipes you plan on insulating. Start this process by measuring from the heater. Remember that you need to measure all the different lengths that will require insulation. Then you need to measure the insulation you will use. You need to keep in mind that the insulation will need to cover all the accessible water pipes.
Next, you need to make sure that you cut the sleeves to the exact measurement set out. Then, you need to place the sleeves over the chosen pipe. Remember that your cut seam on the pipe will need to face downward. Lastly, you will need to secure the sleeves in place with the fasteners you bought.