Winter Tips!

Saving energy through DIY pipe insulation

It is not always difficult to do projects at home – this includes when you are trying to save money, as well. One DIY home project you can do to save some cash is to insulate pipes, which can improve water temperatures, and it isn’t even difficult, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Insulating pipes that send hot water through the home actually does more than you would think. According to the DOE, it can increase the temperature anywhere in your house between 2 and 4 degrees. This can allow you to drop the water temperature setting and decrease the time you wait for the water to get hot.

Any hot water pipe that can be reached should be insulated. Pipes that are less than 3 feet away from the water heater’s entrance are an absolute must to insulate. The cold water pipes in that area should be covered as well, as it could make a significant difference.

The DOE noted that there are two main types of insulation common for pipes. One is simple fiberglass strips. All you, the homeowner, would have to do is to tape them around the pipes.

The second is pipe sleeves, typically made of polyethylene or neoprene. These can be attached by just pushing them face-down on the pipes, and tying them off with wire or tape every 12 to 24 inches.

It’s important to note that gas water heaters need special insulation instructions, the DOE added. The flue needs to be clear, so it is important to ensure that there is no insulation within six inches of it. In cases were that is impossible, used fiberglass wrap that is more than one-inch thick and has no facing on it should be used. When securing it, wire is the best option.

ANDY’s Helpful Tips!

Winter Home Maintenance Reminders:

During the winter months especially, there are numerous items in your home that need to be maintained. Below is a list of the most common winter maintenance items which should be checked each season.

  • Winterize outside sprinklers, hoses and faucets
  • Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained
  • Check the water hoses on the washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles
  • Store firewood at least 30 feet away from your home
  • Reverse your ceiling fans so that they are rotating in a clockwise direction once you have turned on your heat
  • Check the attic for adequate ventilation
  • Check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles; as well as, breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys
  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic
  • Install storm doors and windows
  • Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors
  • Check outdoor lighting fixtures, replace bulbs

These are just a few of the items that most homeowners should maintain during the winter months. If you need assistance or just don’t have the time to get the job done, contact ANDY ONCALL!

Energy Efficiency

If there is one true fact when it comes to heating fuel or electricity it is that both sources of energy will never return to the prices of the past. Therefore, to save money and still live comfortably homeowners have to take matters into their own hands.

  1. Take Control of Your Thermostat: Turning down the heat to 68 degrees in the winter can save 5% – 10% on heating bills, and more by turning it lower when you’re asleep or away from home.
  2. Wrap those Water Pipes: Insulating the first three feet of pipe into a water heater is especially important and can help raise the water temperature 2 – 4 degrees. See our DIY article above.
  3. Winter Cleaning: Dirty air filters not only affect indoor air quality, they can reduce airflow, costing more during the winter months when heating is crucial.
  4. Fireplace: Keeping your fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use will prevent heat loss and save money.
  5. Bundle Up Your Water Heater: Putting an insulation jacket or ‘blanket’ around water heaters can prevent a significant amount of heat loss. You can save 4% – 9% in water heating costs.
  6. Install Compact Fluorescent Lights: Replace old light bulbs with new, energy efficient ones and look out for LED replacements, which are quickly becoming an affordable alternative. One $10 bulb saves about $40 over its lifetime.


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