Hot water boilers and buffer tanks never come with enough insulation. The result is a needless increase in the consumption of electricity, fuel, gas. Here is a really simple solution which will save you tons of money. In fact, it pays for itself in less than a year.
Most accommodations have an electric boiler which produce hot, clean water. Some even come with a heat exchanger (water to water), like a buffer tank, to improve the efficiency of the heating system: solar thermal panels, heat pumps, cogeneration... Unfortunately, the cover which is designed to reduce heat loss is far too thin. Result: a loss of several degrees in temperature in a short span of time and an overall rise in energy consumption.I followed the advice of Test-Achats (A Belgian NGO) (http://www.retrouversonnord.be/boilers-electriques-insuffisamment-isoles%5b1%5d.pdf) who recommend surrounding the boiler from all possible angles with either glass wool or mineral wool, paying particular attention to the joins, for minimal air exposure. Then all you have to do is cover it with adhesive aluminium tape. When I did this, the heat loss from my hot water boiler and my buffer tank dropped by one degree (from 4 degrees a day to 3). According to Test-Achats' calculations, a single boiler wastes 600kWh every year. To put it positively, that would mean an annual saving of up to 150€. If you choose to invest in the recommended insulation material (glass or mineral wool wrapped in a thick layer of aluminium), you will make your money back in just 6 months - and it only takes one hour to set up! You would also be doing something positive for the planet, because every boiler treated in this way emits 100kg less CO2 every year (the same amount as a 1000km car journey). My personal recommendation is the safer mineral wool option, which has the same temperature coefficient as glass wool, but you don't need to go through the hassle of wearing gloves and safety goggles.
- Rolls of glass wool (mineral wool is better, as already stated) at least 6cm thick and with aluminium foil and a border (to help with setup and avoid wasted energy). N.B: The one in the picture doesn't have a border.
- Adhesive aluminium tape (wide)
This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Andrew Christou