Cut Winter Heating Costs – Insulate Your Hot Water Cylinder
This is a quick and easy tip that can help you cut winter heating costs – especially if you are currently living in a house in Dublin that may have an old water heating system. The hot water cylinder is the area where your hot water is stored after it is heated by the boiler. While modern cylinders are factory-insulated and keep in the heat just fine, older cylinders in Dublin are prone to radiating heat, resulting in higher heating costs.
Properly insulating your cylinder with a lagging jacket or other insulation is a relatively quick and easy procedure. These typically range from €15 to €40 euro and can be purchased at most hardware stores, and can pay for themselves in just a few months of use. Here are some steps to get started on the process.
- Check your cylinder to see if it could benefit from insulation. Hot water cylinders produced in recent years are likely to be sufficiently insulated already. Older models, produced during years where energy standards were much lower however can benefit from additional insulation. Check if your cylinder is hot to the touch. If this is the case, it is very likely that additional insulation would be worthwhile.
- Measure your cylinder and its surroundings. Check your cylinder’s size and capacity to select insulation that will fit. Be sure that your water cylinder’s environment can accommodate the thickness of the lagging jacket or insulation you choose to use. If your cylinder is located too close to a wall or other area, it may be difficult to sufficiently insulate.
- Select your insulation. Be sure to follow the instructions on whatever jacket you choose to go with. For materials such as fiberglass, safety apparel such as gloves, a mask and the appropriate attire are a must to ensure that your installation is done safely.
- Don’t Forget The Pipes
- The pipes that run between the cylinder and the boiler can be source of wasted water heat – even if your cylinder is factory insulated. While this might seem like a small step – this can add up to big savings over time. Unlike the water cylinder, your pipes can be at risk of freezing in the winter, which can be a very expensive process to sort out.
- Consider an Upgrade. If your hot water cylinder is several years old, it may be time to get a replacement. In addition to wasting heat, older cylinders may become prone to leaking, which can result in costly water damage.
Things to Keep in Mind
- If your hot water tank is located in a heated area of your home, then the dissipated heat is not wasted. You will be paying for this heat whether it is through your hot water cylinder or your radiator. In this case, you can still benefit from insulating your cylinder, but you would only be seeing the benefit during the time of year when you are not heating your home. If it is located in a garage or unheated basement, then any heat dissipated is wasted.
- It is best practice to ONLY use NON-FLAMMABLE materials for insulating any heating appliance. Fiberglass or materials typically used for wall insulation are a good choice. Sleeping bags, quilts, newspapers, and similar materials are not.