Importance of Insulated Water Pipes

Importance of Insulated Water Pipes

Insulating water pipes should be a home upgrade that all homeowners living in areas prone to cold temperatures should consider. Water pipes risk freezing over the winter, especially if cold water runs through them. In a similar way, water pipes that carry hot water risk losing heat. Water pipe insulation is a fairly inexpensive process, yet not everyone has seen its advantages. Mainly, there are two reasons why homeowners should insulate their pipes: to prevent freezing and to prevent the loss of heat. Ultimately, these two lead to one great benefit: saving money.

Here are a few reasons why insulating water pipes is important:

  1. It cuts on energy costs.
  2. In cold places, especially areas with winter, hot water is a necessity. Pipes that aren’t insulated will require more energy to raise water temperature, which means you will have to turn on the faucet or shower head for a longer time before hot water finally comes out. This wastes energy and water, and greatly increases your water and power bill. If you insulate your pipes, your pipes will retain the heat throughout the entire house, saving you money and energy.

  3. It prevents pipes from freezing.
  4. Pipes can easily break and crack due to freezing in areas with cold temperatures, but they can also get damaged in warmer climates. Condensation, due to humidity, can cause pipes to freeze. Typically, pipe damage can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars in repairs. Insulated pipes will save you the trouble of having to go days, even weeks, without proper plumbing.

  5. It prevents more home damage from happening.
  6. Pipes with excess moisture and dripping water can cause more home damage such as the deterioration of concrete and other home fixings. Your home won’t deteriorate immediately, but over time, if pipes are left uninsulated, the damage will build, forcing you to spend money on expensive home repairs.

What materials can you use to insulate your pipes?

From DIY pipe insulation to professionally assisted plumbing services, there are numerous materials that you can use to insulate your pipes.

  1. Tubular rubber insulation - This self-seal insulation is durable and energy-efficient. One of its key features is that it can expand and contract according to the shift in temperature. Installing it over heat cables and heat tape is also safe.
  2. Tubular polyethylene foam - These pre-slit tubes can be easily fitted onto pipes. This material is more rigid than rubber, so it doesn’t expand and contract from temperature shift.
  3. Fiberglass pipe wrap kit - Affordable and easy, these kits feature a roll of fiberglass and a plastic vapor barrier. Think of it as insulation on top of insulation.
  4. Foil and foam insulation - This is considered to be the easiest way to insulate.

When insulating your pipes, you should consider the pipe size, type of pipe and type of insulation material that you want to use. During installation, it is crucial to ensure that the insulator is sealed completely with proper adhesive and tape. Homeowners should avoid using other substances to seal their insulation such as duct tape. This is why self-sealing materials are recommended. They offer a hassle-free installation.

As with all home projects, it is important to regularly check the condition of your pipes and their insulation systems.