Valve Cosy review

At Sustainability House we are always interested to come across simple products that have the potential to save energy and add to the efficiency of your home - is the Valve Cosy one of them?

Valve Cosy. 

As many of you would already know, one of the big consumers of energy in Australian homes is the generation of hot water. While there are many different types of hot water systems available, some vastly more efficient than others, there are always weak points, usually around where the copper plumbing connects to the system. While it is standard practice that plumbing should be insulated with foam pipe lagging (to reduce heat lost) what is not so common is to insulate the PTR (Pressure and Temperature Relief) valve. The PTR valve is an odd shape and does not really lend itself to being easy insulated. That is where the design of the Valve Cosy comes in.

This Australian made product which retails from outlets like the ATA is designed for DIY install to cover the PTR valve in a plastic insulated foam box.

We recently installed a Valve Cosy on a new hot water service to see how easy it would be to use and to take some shots with our thermal camera to compare before and after results.

One slight issue that we had was due to way the PTR valve had been installed by our plumber, which caused the Valve Cosy to not fit tightly flush with the hot water service. The installation instructions that come with the Valve Cosy unit recommend that if this is the case a small piece of pipe lagging be installed between the tank and the valve.

Once the lagging was installed the unit fitted snuggly to the tank

We then went on to take a series of shots with our thermal camera to gauge the performance of the product. 

The above shot shows the tank without the Valve Cosy installed. Note the pipe lagging and heat loss around the junction with the tank and the un-insulated PTR valve.

The temperature of the PTR valve without the Valve Cosy in place.

This shot shows the Valve Cosy snapped into place over the PTR.

The surface temperature of the Valve Cosy installed is just under 18 degrees.

Overall, the Valve Cosy seems like a straight forward product designed to minimise heat loss through one of the main weak points of the system - the PTR valve. 

It works as expected and our images show a considered reduction in heat escaping from the system.

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