Using a Boiler Jacket as Insulation

What You'll Need
Protective mask
Long sleeve shirt
Long pants
Eye protection
Boiler jacket kit
Measuring tape
Utility knife

There two purposes for a water boiler are to heat the home and to heat water. There is a serious problem with water boilers as they are responsible for about ¾ of the carbon emissions found in the home. Improper boiler insulation is the cause. New homes have boilers that convert 90 percent of the fuel they make into usable heat, but older models are only at 60 percent useful heat. Decreasing the temperature of the boiler by just 1 degree using a boiler jacket can save you up to 10 percent. A boiler jacket, however, is only effective if properly installed. Follow the steps below for this project.

Step 1 - Safety Measures

Before working on the boiler make sure that you turn it off and it cools down. A boiler jacket is usually made with fiberglass which can cause skin irritation and breathing problems. For this reason make sure that you wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, face mask, eye protection, gloves and a hat.

Step 2 - Layout the Supplies

A boiler jacket kit is produced with a specific boiler in mind and only purchase a boiler jacket for your boiler. Clean away the area where your boiler is located so you have room to work. Open the package and layout the materials that are included. This typically includes a series of panels, pipe coverings, aluminum acrylic tape and polyethylene film tape. Having your materials handy will help complete the project quickly as well as to make sure that you have everything that is needed.

Step 3 - Preparation

Locate the inspection cover of the boiler and remove the screw but to not remove the actual cover. Measure the sides of the boiler then measure the panels. The height of the boiler jacket panels should the same height as the boiler plus an extra 1 1/2 inches. This is to accommodate the cover and insulation attachments. Trim the panels as needed but pay close attention that they are even. Cut the pipe coverings to fit the pipes of your boiler. In order to protect the bottom of the panels place aluminum tape along the bottom of the panels with an inch overhang which you fold over the bottom and up the back of the panels.

Step 4 - Installation

Since the panels are made with your boiler in mind they fit on it like a puzzle. Begin by placing the panels on the boiler starting with the front panel, then right, back and finally the left panel. The panels are sealed together with the polyethylene tape. Each panel will have 4 to 5 pieces of tape. Use about 5 inches of tape. Make sure there is two inches of tape on one side of the panel then pull it over 1 to 2 inches to the other panel. Place aluminum tape on all seams both horizontally and vertically. Install the top insulation and tape as you did the other panels. Finish with installing the pipe insulation.