Insulate Your Water Pipes and Save Energy
Insulation is one of the most important and cost-effective strategies in maintaining an energy-efficient home. But in addition to the attics and walls, there is another area that can benefit you if properly insulated: the basement. By insulating water pipes, you’re implementing a simple strategy to increase your home’s efficiency and see savings in energy.
With flexible sheet foam, like neoprene rolls or polyethylene for example, you can make a cushion wrap that minimizes how much energy is conducted away from treated water by the metal pipes. Adding insulating foam works to help prevent hot water pipes from losing heat and cold water pipes from having condensation. For cold water pipes, it’s very important to not use fiberglass wrappings, as it can absorb moisture from the condensation. Closed-cell foam is ideal for cold water pipes. Even worn out or unused items around the house like a yoga mat cut into pieces can be an effective wrap material.
By minimizing how much energy is lost through pipes, heating and cooling systems don’t have to work as hard to keep water at temperature. And the less these systems have to struggle to do their jobs, the less energy they consume, while making the most out of what energy is used.
The other benefit of pipe wrap insulation is that it can help protect against frozen pipes in cold-weather climates. This is very important when pipes are located close to exterior walls and even more so if the basement is unfinished. Insulating against cold air and drafts can help guard against the damage of frozen or burst pipes. If a pipe freezes, it isn’t the water expanding into ice that causes the pipe to split, but the pressure of the water generated behind the frozen blockade that causes the burst. Insulation can help prevent this from happening.
With the benefits of adding pipe insulation to the home and the ease with which it can be installed, wrapping pipes is one of the smartest DIY improvements you can make to your home.