Save Energy By Insulating Your Hot Water Pipes

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With the price of home energy these days, it's more important than ever to make changes to keep your home running efficiently. Many people turn to their heating system when making energy-efficient changes, but there's another system to consider, too: your pipes. Insulating your hot water pipes can reduce your energy use considerably.

Are your pipes insulated?

If you're not sure whether or not your pipes are already insulated, you're not alone. While you can't see all of the pipes behind your walls, you can typically see the ones emerging directly from your hot water heater. Are they bare metal, or are they covered in a layer of foam insulation? If they are covered in foam -- and if the section of pipe that's entering directly into the wall is covered in foam -- then it's likely that all of your pipes are insulated. On the other hand, if even the pipes emerging from your hot water heater are bare metal, you can bet the builders did not insulate the hot water pipes behind your walls, either.

How do you insulate your pipes?

Applying insulation to your pipes is not difficult. You can take care of any exposed pipes yourself. Just purchase tubes of foam insulation at the hardware store, pop it around the pipe, and wrap a little tape around it.

The pipes behind your wall are harder to address. Consider hiring a plumber to come apply insulation to them. They can access the pipes through small holes in the wall and then repair the holes.

How does insulating pipes save energy?

Hot water traveling through your pipes loses heat rather quickly when the pipes are not insulated. By the time it reaches your faucet, it has cooled off. So, you have to turn your hot water heater up to a higher temperature to ensure the water is still warm when it's dispensed. This uses more energy than keeping the heater at a somewhat cooler temperature and then delivering that water through well-insulated pipes.

To learn more about conserving energy by insulating your hot water pipes, talk to a plumber in your area. They can also give you an estimate for applying insulation to any currently non-insulated pipes.

Keep in mind that, if you live in an area where the temperatures fall below freezing, your cold water pipes should also be wrapped in insulation. You can often have your plumber insulate both sets of pipes for one affordable price. For more information, contact a company like Alexander's Plumbing And Pumps.

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