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Pad your pipes

Save heat with hot water pipe insulation

Up to 10% of the energy used for water heating is lost moving water to and from the tank and your faucets (even more in large houses). Insulating hot water pipes reduces the amount of energy lost in distribution. As an added benefit, you won't have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on the faucet or shower.

Insulating pipes also helps reduce the risk of pipes freezing in cold temperatures, which can potentially crack them, requiring costly repairs. To best prevent frozen pipes, ensure your home temperature is kept at a sufficient level.

How to insulate pipes in your home

Supplies you'll need:

  • Pipe insulation

  • Small hack saw for trimming pieces

  • Heavy duty tape to secure pieces in place

  • Safety glasses and work gloves

  • If using fibreglass insulation: also wear a face mask, a hat, long sleeves and long pants

Instructions

  • 1

    Walk through your space and measure roughly how much insulation is needed. Count the corners in the piping, as you can buy insulation corner units for a quicker install.

  • 2

    Get your supplies. You can purchase various types of pipe insulation from your local home improvement store.

  • 3

    Remove any dirt or grease from the pipes, and allow them to dry.

  • 4

    Apply your pipe wrap or tubular pipe sticks, following the instructions from the manufacturer. Apply the tape as needed to secure pieces together.

  • 5

    Check back on the condition of your pipe insulation regularly.

What kind of pipe insulation to get?

There are many types of pipe insulation to meet your needs. Some are thicker and outdoor-rated, some are thinner for tight spaces, many are self-adhesive, and some feature an outside layer than can be painted.

If there are tricky areas where several pipes run close together, take pictures and bring them to the store. A sales representative can help you get the right materials.