The temperature is dropping and winter chill is beginning to creep in, which means your boiler system is working hard to keep you comfortable all day. Heating costs are beginning to rise and your boiler will experience normal wear and tear as it enters its busiest time of year. To help manage your energy bills and keep your boiler running strong throughout the winter, WARE recommends proper pipe insulation.
Proper insulation is one of the most overlooked and easily forgotten elements to an energy efficient boiler system. “Any time you insulate, you save money,” says Boiler University instructor Jude Wolf. This is because steam is a hot gas that easily releases its latent heat energy and returns to water, so when hot steam hits a cold pipe, it will quickly condensate. As soon as steam becomes water, it stops moving through the pipes and you lose energy efficiency.
Another reason to insulate your boiler lines – including your supply lines, hot water return lines, and condensate lines – is personnel protection. “You don’t want an employee to run down to the basement for something simple and come back with a burn,” says insulation expert Duffy Dillion. For insulation to perform as an effective barrier between people and pipes, WARE experts recommend insulating everything that is six feet off the ground and lower.
Fortunately, an investment in proper insulation will pay off quickly. “Your pay back period can be as low at six or eight months,” says Duffy. Insulate all the pipes you can see with either a permanent insulation solution like batting or removable covers that allow for easy maintenance and repair access. Whichever solution you choose, your insulation project will begin to pay you back immediately and will help manage your energy costs year round.
If you’re looking for a low-cost, high impact change you can make to your boiler room this fall and winter, don’t forget the insulation. Not only will you maximize your efficiency and the lifetime efficacy of your boiler, but you could also help reduce workplace injuries. For more information on boiler room insulation, enjoy this YouTube video or contact us today.