Wrap the Pipes
Finally, no matter which type of pipe is used, hot and cold water pipes should be insulated wherever possible. Pipe insulation is cheap and easy to install. Simply wrap pre-slit polyethylene and neoprene foam tubes around the pipes, then tape or clamp them shut. Foam pipe insulators are estimated to cut heat loss by up to 80 percent, and they keep cold water pipes from sweating. They can raise water temperatures four degrees, allowing a lower, more energy-efficient setting on water heaters.
Plumbing pipes made of new plastics may be hard to find but easy on the environment. Homeowners also should find ways to cut energy and water usage in plumbing decisions.