Should You Insulate Your Water Pipes?

There are many ways to save money on energy bills. Some of them are expensive and have a low rate of return. Others are cheap and have a high rate of return. Most of them are somewhere in the middle, with moderate savings and a moderate cost. One thing that almost always makes sense to do is insulation. More insulation, better insulation, or just insulation in general. What about for water pipes though? Does it really make sense to insulate water pipes?

In short, yes. Insulate away. Truthfully there are nuances that muddy the water a little.

Why Insulate?

The basic purpose of insulation is to keep the heat and cold where they belong. Insulating cold water pipes in northern climates, such as the Lexington Massachusetts area, can prevent them from freezing. This is extremely important. When pipes freeze they often burst. The real damage comes when they thaw and start start spraying water from the burst area. Often this happens without anybody knowing immediately, and a large amount of damage is the result. Hot water loses its heat fairly quickly while sitting in the pipe waiting to be used. This is exemplified by modern in-floor heating systems using the same pipe material as modern water delivery services. Insulating the hot water pipes helps them retain their heat, meaning hotter water faster when the tap is turned on.

New Versus Old

If you have the ability to get insulation on an entire water system when it is first installed, go for it. There is no good reason not to at that point. The cost is fairly low. The benefits, as previously mentioned, are good. If the system you want to insulate is old things are a little trickier. The benefits are good, but not amazing. It wouldn’t be cost effective to rip out drywall for the purpose of insulating water pipes. If they can be insulated as a side project to something already being done then go for it. Old pipe systems enjoy the same benefits from insulation that new systems enjoy.

DIY or Contract?

Whenever you aren’t sure whether you can accomplish a job yourself or not hire, a professional, such as one of the Lexington plumbers from Dellarocco Plumbing and Heating. That said, this is an easy job and you should feel confident to give it a try on your own.
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