There are many simple techniques for insulating pipes which will conserve energy and save money on future energy bills. There are a few advantages to properly insulating pipes in a household, the primary one being lower energy bills. When water pipes are properly insulated hot water will remain at a high temperature inside the pipes for hours after use. In addition to conserving energy, having hot water instantly on tap is a pleasant bonus.
The most common method of insulating pipes is with the use of foam tubing, primarily because it is inexpensive and very easy to install. Foam tubing is typically available in 3/8 inch and 5/8 thicknesses and comes with a layer of two-sided tape. The 5/8-inch-thick foam tubing provides more insulation and is better suited for cold climates.
Foam tubing is cut lengthwise which means it simply slips right over hot water pipes like a sleeve. Place the foam tubing over the full length of all hot water pipes and bend it around any corners. Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the foam tubing and secure it in place with duct tape at 1-foot intervals. Insulating pipes with this method is fast and can be accomplished in one afternoon.
Fibreglass Attic Insulation
Insulating with fibreglass attic insulation may seem unusual, however, it is still effective and often implemented when leftover insulation is lying around.
To install fibreglass attic insulation on your pipes, you will need a large flat piece of scrap wood to use as a cutting surface. Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the insulation to the length of the section of pipe to be covered. Cut the fibreglass lengthwise so that it is equal to the circumference of the pipe. Wrap the piece that was cut around the pipe and gently secure it with duct tape at 1-foot intervals. When insulating pipes with this method be certain not to compress the material, as it will lose some of its insulating capacity.
Fibreglass Pipe Covers
Insulating pipes with fibreglass pipe covers takes a bit more work than the previous methods, however, it provides a high level of insulation at an economical price. The outside of this material generally consists of a hard fibreglass shell that has a foil reflector on the inside.
After measuring the pipe that is to be insulated, use a small saw to cut a section of the fibreglass pipe cover. The pipe cover will swing open which allows it to easily wrap around the pipe. This type of insulation comes equipped with double sided tape which securely fastens it in place. Insulating pipes with this method can be time-consuming because measurements must be precise, as the material does not allow for any flexibility.