To insulate or not to insulate? While insulating your home certainly has its benefits, it is also important to properly insulate your home’s water pipes.
Water pipe insulation helps conserve energy, prevents freezing, and condensation. Here’s a closer look at three key reasons why it could make sense to insulate your plumbing.
3 Key Reasons Why It Makes Sense to Insulate Water Pipes
1. Prevent Freezing
Living here in the Midwest, we experience frigid winter temperatures. Insulating your water pipes can prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting. When pipes freeze, they tend to expand — and if they are not properly thawed quickly, pipes can burst and lead to costly water damage throughout your property. Insulating to prevent pipes from freezing is best done in basements or crawlspaces where temperatures tend to get cooler or on pipes located near the walls of your property.
2. Prevent Condensation
Condensation on pipes, or “pipe sweating,” occurs when pipes come into contact with warmer, moist air. And when this happens, moisture won’t just form on the exterior of the pipe, but potentially drip or puddle in any area directly underneath it. This can cause moisture or even mold problems in certain areas of the home. However, pipe sweating — and the problems that potentially come with it — are easily resolved by outfitting pipes with insulation.
3. Lower Heating Costs
Finally, another key reason to insulate your water pipes is to save on energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, insulating hot water pipes can raise the temperature of water at the faucet by up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, thereby allowing homeowners to keep hot water settings lower. (On a similar note, it’s also practical to wrap hot water tanks in insulation to minimize any heat loss from these hot water-distributing appliances.) Insulating hot water pipes also helps reduce heat loss in the piping system, delivering hot water faster to the likes of faucets and showerheads. This latter benefit isn’t just convenient, it also helps homeowners conserve water.
Cost of Insulating Water Pipes
How much does it cost to have your water pipes insulated? It depends on several factors. For instance, do you plan to do it yourself or hire a professional plumber to carry out this task? While this can be a DIY project, plumbers are typically better equipped to make sure that insulation is applied properly and that all targeted pipes are taken care of.
Additionally, the scope of the work is another consideration when it comes to cost. Do you just need pipes in basements and crawlspaces insulated? Are you having all hot water pipes in the home insulated? Do you want the entire plumbing system insulated? Your answers to these questions will dictate whether the project is a few hundred to perhaps even upwards of around $1,000.
Is it Worth it?
Insulating piping is often worth it, both when it comes to energy savings and preventing any potential home disasters. While insulating water pipes may shave a few dollars off your utility bills each month, the true value of doing so is perhaps avoiding any costly mold remediation that condensation may cause or water damage restoration that a burst pipe may lead to.
For more information about water pipes or plumbing, contact us!