Should You Insulate Your Pipes? Absolutely.
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Living in Colorado Springs, we all know the ups and downs the local weather can have—we turn on the heater one day and the AC the next. No matter the season, though, our water pipes are vulnerable to the temperature both inside and outside the home. Insulating your pipes could help save you a lot of trouble in the future—it can help prevent water freezing in the sporadic, Colorado winters, and could even save you money and energy in the summer. If you’re thinking about insulating your pipes, the answer is clear: absolutely. Here’s some reasons why:
Prevent Frozen, Bursting, Leaking Pipes
When water freezes, it expands into whatever container it has fallen into. However, metal pipes don’t have the flexibility to expand along with the water, which is why pipes burst in the cold. If your pipes are in an uninsulated or unconditioned place like a basement or a crawl space, they become much more susceptible to freezing, which can be a monumental expense if they cause damage.
Also, cold water pipes tend to collect moisture, which condenses on and around the pipe. If left uninsulated, the water droplets that have gathered over time will begin to leak onto the ground below it. This could cause stain marks at a minimum, but could also cause water damage if left untreated.
Wrapping your pipes in insulation is a solution for both of these problems. Insulating your pipes can prevent against freezing, bursting and leaking pipes as it keeps the cold temperature outside and the water untouched. By regulating the temperature of your pipes, the water inside will stay a consistent temperature (whether they are cold water pipes or hot water pipes), which means you don’t have to worry about unforeseen damage.
Keep your Cold Water Cold and your Hot Water Hot
So far, we’ve talked about insulating your cold water pipes to prevent against freezing, but it can be beneficial to insulate your hot water pipes as well! Insulation is all about controlling temperature, and when your hot water pipes touch the air, they begin to lose heat. This means that you are spending a lot more money in utilities trying to keep your hot water hot as your pipes are competing with the air around them.
If you want to control where your heat goes in your house (and more importantly, the money that goes with it), then insulating your hot water pipes can be an easy solution. Insulating your hot water pipes will lessen the time it takes for your water to get hot, and will spend less dollars keeping it that way. So when you’re showering or washing dishes, you can keep it at the temperature you want.
Coldwater pipes are factors to utility costs as well because cold water will absorb the temperature of the air around it (opposite of the hot water pipes). This means that you’re actually paying more to maintain the temperature of your cold water too, as well as your hot water. For example, in the summertime, cold water pipes are especially attracted to the hot weather. This is why water from your garden hose turns from cool to lukewarm very quickly. The same process happens in the pipes in your home. Insulating your pipes keeps your water temperature where you want it—cold stays cold and hot stays hot.
Insulating your home’s cold water and hot water pipes is a valuable investment! This can be an inexpensive way to save you some money, energy, and time, and it can even be done yourself as a DIY project or through a local plumber. Regardless of winter or summer, insulating your pipes should be on your to-do list this season!