Insulating your water pipes is great way to prevent frozen pipes when the temperatures drop in the winter months. Even in more moderate climates, when freezing temperatures are infrequent, pipe insulation can help limit heat loss and condensation as water travels through your plumbing.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting.” And luckily, insulating your water pipes is something you can easily do on your own!
Learn how to insulate your water pipes to prevent pipes from freezing on cold days and sweating on humid days.
Prevent Frozen Pipes with Insulation Sleeves
In order to minimize heat loss and prevent frozen pipes in areas exposed to cold air, we highly recommend insulating your hot and cold water pipes. Start with the exposed pipes in your attic, garage, basement, and other unheated areas of your home, especially the pipes along exterior walls.
What to do before insulating your water pipes:
- Measure the diameter of the pipes.
- Measure the length of the pipes.
- Choose the insulation material you want to use. There are a couple different options to choose from, including self-seal rubber, pre-slit polyethylene, fiberglass wrap kits, and foil and foam insulation. We recommend the self-seal kind for aesthetics and ease-of-use.
- You will also need cable ties, duct tape, or aluminum foil tape to secure the sleeves together. And strong scissors or a box cutter to cut the insulation to size.
- When purchasing pipe insulation, make sure you match the outside diameter of the pipe with the inside diameter of the pipe sleeve.
- Keep pipe insulation at least 6 inches away from the water heater flue.
Step-by-step instructions for installing pipe insulation:
- Start at your water heater.
- Measure the accessible water pipes.
- Cut the pipe insulation to size.
- Fit the insulation of the pipe with the seam facing down.
- Use tape, clamps, or cable ties to secure the insulation every 1-2 feet.
If you have any questions about installing pipe insulation, contact Sobieski Services!
Water Heater Tank Insulation
While a bit more complicated, you can also insulate your water heater on your own — either from a kit or from scratch using pieces of insulation material and electrician’s tape.
Warning: Keep all insulation materials away from the pilot light and flue pipe (if you have them). And never cover the top part of a gas water heater!
To learn more about how to protect your pipes, contact Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey about energy efficiency, comfort, and safety issues.