How much can I save by insulating my hot water pipes?

How much can I save by insulating my hot water pipes?

by Smarty
(Ohio)

Is there any reason why should I put an additional insulation on my water heater and surrounding pipes? My water heater is located in the basement where the temperature is around 15 C over the year.

Hot water is hot enough and I am also happy with the recovery rate. My water heater isn't expensive to run, but I am thinking to save even more by putting an insulation.
What do you suggest and can I justify additional expenses with the saving I am getting by insulating the water heater.

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Jun 09, 2010
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Insulating water heater
by: Anonymous

Most of the water heaters today are equipped with the medium quality insulating foam, which is around the value of R-10. Even the high efficiency water heaters with the thicker foam of 2-3" are not exceeding the value of R 20.

It is recommended to add an insulation to the conventional type water heaters (unless its R value is 24 or above), known as the insulation blanket or jacket, so it can reduce the standby heat loss by 25-45% and water heating cost from 4-9% (per energysavers.gov).

Insulation blanket is available for the price of 10-20$... and even higher for the best ones. Choose the pre-cut foam with the high R insulation value.

Also, recommendation is to insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the unit. Some manufacturers are supplying, with the water heater, foam tubes for the pipe insulation. Apply insulation on the water pipes if the piping goes through the unheated area or the pipe is warm to the touch (for hot water pipes).


By insulating hot water pipes you will reduce the heat loss and raise the temperature 2-4 F when compare to the uninsulated pipe. Every temperature reduction of 10 F saves 3-5% in energy costs. If you are using polyethylene or neoprene foam sleeve for the insulation, with the good R value, you can reduce the temperature by 4 F and the savings will be 2% each year.




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