Action on Carbon and Energy in Schools (ACES)

Boiler Room Insulation

Why it’s important and how you can improve it

This post addresses the importance of improving the insulation in your school boiler room.

Why address your boiler room insulation?

Most schools will have one or more boiler rooms with hot pipework covered with insulation. However, often there are uncovered sections, particularly valves and other oddly shaped pipes.

Heat intended for the radiators throughout the school is lost through these uninsulated sections; even more heat is lost in cold months if the boiler room is accessed externally. Since most fossil fuel boilers run at 65 to 75oC, the heat loss from 20 or 30 uninsulated sections of pipework is significant over the heating season (it can be up to 3% of gas consumption) and is definitely worth addressing.

The benefits of insulation

In 2023 ACES had limited funding to trial offering free insulation to a number of Oxfordshire County Council maintained schools to demonstrate the benefits of improving boiler room insulation. We were able to add additional insulation across eight boiler rooms in five schools.

The images below show the temperature difference between a covered and uncovered section of hot pipework (71.8oC without insulation compared to 25.9oC with insulation). This shows that an uninsulated pipe leaks a significant amount of heat – energy that your school is paying for.

How much can it cost?

Additional pipework insulation costs, on average, £900 for 48 new insulation covers installed. With a median savings of £287 per school (with a payback period of 3.1 years), this can be a priority efficiency measure for schools to take to cut energy waste and save on their energy bills.

Next steps

There are a number of suppliers who make insulated covers for valves, flanges, and other hot pipework.

With fossil fuel prices rising and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we urge all schools to check for uncovered hot pipework and consider adding additional boiler room insulation.

Get in touch with us

If you’d like to improve the energy performance of your school buildings, contact our Help Desk to find out what support is available.

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