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What is the savings on insulating hot water pipes in basements if any?

DJ Tejeski | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

Insulating hot water pipes in conditioned or unfinised basements.

What is the energy savings when hot water pipes are insulated ?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    DJ,
    There are at least two kinds of hot water pipes: hydronic heating pipes and domestic hot water pipes.

    If you are talking about hydronic tubing, insulating the tubing won't necessarily save you any energy if the tubing is in a conditioned (and well insulated and air-sealed) basement. If you don't need your basement to be warm, however, you might want more of the heat upstairs, and a cooler basement. If that's the case, it probably makes sense to insulate your hydronic tubing.

    If your basement is unconditioned, then you definitely want to insulate your hydronic tubing.

    It always makes sense to insulate domestic hot water pipes, regardless of whether your basement is conditioned or unconditioned. If the hot water pipes are uninsulated, the water inside the pipes cools faster. Then, when you go to a sink, you have to wait longer for hot water to reach the faucet. That wastes time, wastes energy, and wastes water.

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