Last week types of wall and ceiling insulation and what to look for during an inspection were discussed. This week we take a look at other items where a temperature barrier can be beneficial.
The refrigerant line carrying fluid back into the house should have a fitted insulation sleeve. There is no need for the line coming out of the house as the temperature of the refrigerant in this line is much hotter than the ambient temperature. These lines connect up with condensor, which is always located outside. Due to weather conditions the insulation degrades over time. Inspect these components at least once a year in the spring before the hot summer months come.
There are two places where insulation can be very beneficial for maintaining energy efficiency. The first is around the water tank. The heater has to constantly maintain the set temperature and battle dissipating heat. Adding an insulation blanket which is specifically made for a water heater will help alleviate the workload.
The other spot in this system to focus on is the first 10-15 feet of piping of hot water. The water is hottest in this section and therefore is the most prone to energy loss. At minimum this section should have a insulation pipe sleeve fitted.
Air Ducts The central air system for both heating and cooling makes use of the duct ventilation system. Air pipes can be wrapped in insulation in corkscrew shape. Use a small nail to stitch the wrap together at the end. Use metal tape to patch up any damaged areas.
Weatherstripping and Window Caulking
Air leaks create significant energy loss even if the rest of the house is well insulated. Since this is not an insulation topic itself I'll refer you to the articles on Weatherstripping Maintenance and Window Caulking. Also, pay close attention to air leaks in duct work, electrical sockets, subarea plumbing, and electrical inlets.
The bottom line is insulation is fairly cheap and easy to install for anyone into do-it-yourself projects. The cost savings from energy efficiency easily pays off over time. The other benefit is preventing condensation which leas to mildew or mold.