ecomii - a better way
May 22, 2018  |  Login

Insulate Your Water Pipes

Save energy and water by insulating your plumbing.

  Email This Tip  | Back to All Tips

What are Ratings?
Impact ecomii tips impactecomii tips impact
Health ecomii tips health
Savings ecomii tips savingsecomii tips savingsecomii tips savings
Ease ecomii tips easeecomii tips ease

Don’t let the energy that you purchase for your home escape through uninsulated water pipes! Most water pipes are not insulated, which means they are losing heat and causing the water heater to work harder. In fact, un-insulated pipes can be 2º–4ºF colder than insulated ones, which costs you not only in your water-heating bill, but also in water wasted as you wait for the tap to get hot. If your pipes are warm to the touch, “sweat” (cause precipitation), or go through unheated areas, then you should insulate them. Pre-slit foam pipe insulation, also called pipe sleeves, is available at most hardware stores. Rigid foam has the highest R-value – insulates the best – so go with that if you want to save the most energy. Just snap them onto pipes and seal the ends of adjoining pieces with duct tape.

If your water heater was installed before 2004, install a water heater blanket, or insulating jacket, to keep in the heat. The improved efficiency will allow you to turn down the temperature on your water thermostat—to the tune of 4% to 9% of your energy bill. You also will not have to wait so long for hot water from the faucet, meaning you save water as well.


Take Action / Next Steps


Prev Tip Next Tip
Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.



1.US Department of Energy. [12 September 2005]. “Insulate Hot Water Pipes for Energy Savings.” Available from: [22 July 2008].

2.Johnston, David & Kim Master. Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time (215, 285). Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2004.

3.Amann, Jennifer Thorne, Alex Wilson, & Katie Ackerly. Save Money, Save the Earth: Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (94, 145). Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2007.

4.American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. [August 2007]. Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings: Condensed Online Version. Available from: [23 July 2008].

ecomii featured poll

Vote for your Favorite Charity



ecomii resources
ecomii Tips Newsletter 

Sign up today to receive a weekly tip for living greener

Get in Touch

Got suggestions? Want to write for us? See something we could improve? Let us know!