Insulating water heater and skylight

A couple of weeks ago, we had a home energy audit. Although we had done a good bit to weather-proof our older home, we found out that we still had some work to do. Luckily for us, most of the suggested improvements are easy and DIY.

First, we insulated all of the face plates on exterior walls. We did some other minor things like put an aerator on our kitchen sink faucet, but I didn’t think it was worthy of a post.

This weekend, my husband decided to head back into the attic. Our house is about 60 years old, but it does have an addition. We didn’t know much about the addition until this audit. We assumed it was added on in 2000. Turns out it was most likely put in in the mid 1990s. How do we know that? It also turns out that they put a water heater in the new addition, up in the ceiling. The water heater is dated 1994.

We had no idea about this water heater. It makes sense I guess. The addition includes a bathroom and the washing machine closet. But we really didn’t know. My husband isn’t thrilled, since it’s up in the attic and it’s big. It’s way too big for what we need in that area. I only do hot wash cycles when I’m washing diapers, and the occasional bleach load. We rarely use that shower. So, we heat up a lot of water for nothing. We bought an insulating blanket and insulation for the pipes.

It’s good to know we have it, though. My husband dialed the thermostat down to 120 degrees, and put the blanket around it. He also wrapped the pipes as well.

Not only did we have to wrap the surprise water heater, we also found out that the skylight we put in our bathroom this fall should be insulated.

The man performing the energy audit told us that during the summer, the pipe connecting the skylight to the ceiling will get really hot, and would make our bathroom way too toasty. We had no idea. Our bathroom has no natural light, and I was always cleaning mildew. The skylight has been great, and cut down on my need to constantly scrub our shower curtain… some. I’m glad we found out about insulating now, before it gets so hot in the summer.

Our next things to tackle — making sure some wiring in the kitchen is to code, and caulking the few windows we didn’t replace when we first moved in.


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This entry was posted on February 19, 2012 by in At Home, Featured, Green and tagged , , .

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