There is nothing worse than a boiler breaking down or having a plumbing issue during winter. No heating or warm water could mean some chilly days are in store. So, what can you do to prevent the big freeze taking over a home?

Some experts believe wrapping up a hot water cylinder to be a cost-effective solution.

Is Insulation the Answer?


According to the Energy Saving Trust, insulating your hot water cylinder can cut heat loss by 75% meaning you can save between £25 and £35 a year (more than the price of an insulating jacket). A British Standard cylinder jacket can be purchased for around £25 and the cost will likely be covered within a year or so, meaning all future savings are a bonus. 

If a cylinder already has insulation around it, but is still letting out heat, check that the jacket or cover is at least 75mm thick. If not, it may need replacing in order to ensure efficiency. 

Pipes shouldn’t be forgotten either. Keeping pipes warm, especially in cold areas like basements or garages, will stop the water from freezing and creating blockages. Plus, according to the Energy Saving Trust, this could save homeowners an extra £15 a year.

Lagging can be picked up for quite affordable prices and is simple to fit – just cut it to length and wrap up the straight lines of pipe. 

Things to Consider Before Insulating 


How Much Will You Need? – Surplus material is a waste and will be throwing money down the drain (pun intended). Always carefully measure the tank or pipes before ordering any quantity of insulation to minimise waste. 

Is a New System Required? – Insulation can be an effective way of saving energy and money, however, if a water or heating system is decades old it may be more efficient in the long-run to update it now. Yes, this will be more expensive than insulation, but it could save money in the long-term. 

How Will You Keep Insulation in Place? – So you purchase a load of insulation and a jacket, but how are you going to keep the coverings in place? Make sure to include a cylinder jacket strap and lagging clips in your basket.  

What Should You Cover? – When it comes to gas cylinders, jackets should be wrapped around the top half of the tank. In most cases, the bottom of the tank is above the bottom of the water heater, so don’t worry if the jacket or blanket is a bit short. 

For electric ones, cover as much as you can, but make sure to keep electrical components exposed to prevent them from overheating.

Expand Your Plumbing and Gas Knowledge


For further plumbing or heating systems’ advice, take a look at the blog categories to the right. Or to expand your skills and possibly make a career out of them enroll in a plumbing course or gas engineering training here at Access Training.