Pipe insulation is a protective covering designed to help maintain an acceptable temperature for pipes and any substance flowing through the pipes. In many instances, pipe insulation also minimizes the impact of the temperature of the pipe on the immediate surroundings. It is also not unusual for the insulation to reduce the amount of noise created by some systems of pipes in businesses, apartment buildings, and houses.
One of the most common examples of pipe insulation is found with water pipes in the home. Often composed of fiberglass, and configured to wrap securely around the pipes making up the plumbing system within a house or apartment building, this type of pipe insulation helps to minimize the opportunity for water pipes to freeze and burst in extremely cold weather. A plumber can install the insulation, although many homeowners prefer to do the job themselves.
Along with pipe insulation designed to keep the cold from damaging the pipes, the same approach may be employed to protect the surrounding space from extreme temperatures created by the substances flowing through the pipes. For example, insulation may be applied to heating pipes in order to protect people from accidentally burning themselves when coming in contact with piping that travels along a wall. When the pipes are exposed, the insulation is normally composed of materials that can be fitted snugly around the pipes and painted to blend in with the surrounding color scheme.
Pipe insulation can also help reduce the amount of condensation on water pipes. This is important, as the condensation may drip onto furniture or woodwork and eventually cause a great deal of damage. There is also the chance that the condensation could damage the pipes over time, making it necessary to replace the pipes more often.
Along with preventing damage, pipe insulation can also help with energy efficiency. By helping to maintain the correct level of heat or cold in the pipes, the insulation alleviates stress of machinery used to drive water or other substances through the pipes. This means that water traveling from a water heater remains consistently hot, or that cold water traveling from a city system into the home will remain relatively cool even during the summer months.