Cost – $8-12
Savings – $10-15/year
Installation time – 1-3 hours
Materials/Tools Needed – Pipe insulation, utility knife, tape measure, duct tape or zip ties
Maintenance – None
Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2¼F–4¼F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing for a lower water temperature setting. You also won't have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on a faucet or shower-head, which helps conserve water.
Insulate all accessible hot water pipes, especially within 3 feet of the water heater.
á Pipe sleeves made with polyethylene or neoprene foam are the most commonly used insulation. Match the pipe sleeve's inside diameter to the pipe's outside diameter for a snug fit.
á Place the pipe sleeve so the seam will be face down on the pipe. Tape or secure with zip tie every foot or two. If you use tape, some recommend using acrylic tape instead of duct tape.
á On gas water heaters, keep insulation at least 6 inches from the flue. If pipes are within 8 inches of the flue, your safest choice is to use fiberglass pipe-wrap (at least 1-inch thick) without a facing. You can use either wire or aluminum foil tape to secure it to the pipe.