Homeowners have a lot of decisions to make on a daily basis when it comes to the best maintenance of their property. It can be hard to know exactly what you’re meant to do, and there are differing opinions on almost every subject you can think of. If you’re wondering whether you should insulate your water pipes, we’ve got some useful advice for you.
Our advice is yes.
And here are our reasons why.
The most obvious advantage to insulating your water pipes is that it will keep your hot water hotter for longer, meaning you will save money on your energy bills, plus, if you enjoy a nice hot shower, you’ve got it when you want it (give or take – it will depend on whether you’ve got your heating on a timer, if you’re using an electric shower, or whether you have a combi boiler, of course).
Take a property with a traditional water tank in the loft. If your house has one, you’re actually paying to keep that water hot on a standby basis. So with insulation, you’ll find that the hot water just sitting in your pipes will cool down much more slowly.
High quality insulation can even add a few degrees to the temperature of your water as well, and that means you won’t be paying as much to heat the water as high as you normally would; the insulation will do the last bit of that job for you, boosting the water temperature without emptying your pockets.
Another benefit related to this is that you’ll waste less water. How much water goes down the drain when you’re waiting for the hot water to come out of the tap or the shower head at the right temperature? A lot, is the answer. Insulation means your water will be hotter more quickly, so not as much water will be wasted .
When you heat your water, do you ever hear a loud banging or knocking sound? That’s the pipes expanding with the heat. It’s normal, but it’s annoying. Good insulation will reduce (perhaps even eliminate) that noise around the rest of the house, so you’ll be living a lot more peacefully.
Insulating your hot water pipes makes sense (see above), but what about your cold water pipes? Well, it makes sense to insulate them as well. In the winter they are at risk of freezing (especially if they are left unused for a while), and this can cause a lot of damage not just to the pipe but to the whole house; frozen pipes burst and the water can cause huge issues when it ‘floods’ your living areas. Using insulation to keep these pipes a little warmer can stop this from happening, so it is well worth doing.
But it’s not just winter that’s a problem; the summer can wreak havoc on your cold water too. If the pipes are exposed, the heat from the sun could warm the water within them, meaning that you never get properly cold water; it’s always slightly warm, sometimes even actually hot. No one wants that, especially if you are looking forward to splashing cold water on your face or drinking a nice cool glass of the stuff to keep you feeling more comfortable. Insulation will stop the heat getting to the water, making life more bearable.
The Condensation Problem
If you live somewhere that suffers from high humidity, the metal pipes that are filled with cold water can quickly become covered in condensation. Whilst that’s not an issue in itself, when the condensation drops down onto whatever it beneath it, it can cause damage. Imagine if you were storing precious keepsakes in your loft or cellar, or anywhere else for that matter, and the condensation destroyed them. A small length of insulation could save that heartache and keep your home in one piece.
It’s An Easy Job
So we can see why it’s a good idea to insulate both hot and cold water pipes in your home – you’ll save money, your water will be the right temperature, and you won’t have any potentially serious water damage in your home.
But what about installation? That’s another reason to do it; or at least a reason not to put it off. Installing insulation is simple and takes next to no time. You simply have to cut the sleeves to size and slip them on to the pipes. Job done.
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