Cost: $1.50 - $7.50 / 6ft section of insulation
Time: 1-2 hours, depending on amount of pipes
Uninsulated hot water pipes are like radiators, transferring the heat to the air – which is not a good thing. This makes your pipes work less efficiently, makes your hot water heater work harder, and ultimately results in an increase of energy bills. Insulating hot water pipes will prevent costly heat loss, while insulating cold water pipes will prevent condensation from forming and keep them from freezing in the winter.
• Pipe insulation
• Acrylic tape or Duct tape
• Mild cleanser
• Scissors, Utility knife
• Mask, Gloves, Safety goggles
• Tape Measure
1. Begin by cleaning all exposed and accessible water pipes with a mild cleanser. It's also a good idea to use this time to fix any leaks in the pipes. The pipes should be completely dry prior to installing the insulation.
2. Choose the insulation: either a faced fiberglass insulation or tubular sleeve insulation – tubular-sleeve is typically the easiest to install. If using the fiberglass insulation, wrap the pipe with a ½" overlap and be sure to wrap the insulation in plastic to prevent the pipes from dripping condensation. Secure all seams with either an acrylic tape or duct tape.
3. If using the tubular-sleeve insulation, match the interior diameter of the tube to the outside diameter of the pipe. Snap the tube seam-side-down and tape the seam using an acrylic tape or duct tape.
4. Regardless of the insulation type, be sure to cover the entire pipe when wrapping around corners and bends, and wrap with tape.
Top image via The Green Home Guide