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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Arlington/Boston MA
    Posts
    4

    Default Foam insulation on furnace/heat pipes - good or bad ?

    Hi Guys
    Foam insulation on furnace/heat pipes - good or bad ?
    I am trying to save heat/ energy/ money.
    I have 51 year old ranch house - just ok insulated and original natural gas furnace here in Arlington MA. With castiron
    radiators around the house. The house stays pretty warm all
    season for 50 years.

    I wrapped up the basement cellar water radiator/furnace pipes in Frostking foam -
    Will this indirectly hurt/damage/strain the furnace heater
    by keeping the 1 1/2 " pipes coming out and going out to the
    cast iron radiators upstairs by keeping the pipes so hot all the time ?

    What about the red water circulator pump ? Will putting foam insulator on pipes in cellar hurt/cause pump to run more or less or maybe damage it ?

    It sorta seems like I have to turn up the thermostat a little bit more now to get the usual warmth upstairs.

    I figured the old furnace should have to work less now - but now I'm not so sure ...
    Did I actually make upstairs colder/worse since before the pipes just naturally radiated their excess heat out and up (to the ceiling/upstairs above anyhow) ??

    Thanks alot... trying to keep warm this soooo Colddd winterrrr

    PS... I also put the foam wrap on the hot water 3/4" pipes in cellar too. That should help at least with hot water for sinks and showers, right ?

    Phil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Foam insulation on furnace/heat pipes - good or bad ?

    Quote Originally Posted by philb00 View Post
    Hi Guys
    Foam insulation on furnace/heat pipes - good or bad ?
    I am trying to save heat/ energy/ money.
    I have 51 year old ranch house - just ok insulated and original natural gas furnace here in Arlington MA. With castiron
    radiators around the house. The house stays pretty warm all
    season for 50 years.

    I wrapped up the basement cellar water radiator/furnace pipes in Frostking foam -
    Will this indirectly hurt/damage/strain the furnace heater
    by keeping the 1 1/2 " pipes coming out and going out to the
    cast iron radiators upstairs by keeping the pipes so hot all the time ?

    What about the red water circulator pump ? Will putting foam insulator on pipes in cellar hurt/cause pump to run more or less or maybe damage it ?

    It sorta seems like I have to turn up the thermostat a little bit more now to get the usual warmth upstairs.

    I figured the old furnace should have to work less now - but now I'm not so sure ...
    Did I actually make upstairs colder/worse since before the pipes just naturally radiated their excess heat out and up (to the ceiling/upstairs above anyhow) ??

    Thanks alot... trying to keep warm this soooo Colddd winterrrr

    PS... I also put the foam wrap on the hot water 3/4" pipes in cellar too. That should help at least with hot water for sinks and showers, right ?

    Phil
    Insulating and sealing joints in heat ducts will not hurt anything, and you should also seal joints in any return ducts to prevent the furnace from drawing air from the basement that might contain contaminants, such as radon. It is very important to keep all foam, including water pipe wrap, a minimum clearance of 6" from flue pipes however, since they can reach temperature of more than 500 degrees on an atmospheric furnace or water tank. Sealing heat run joints is especially effective if you have central A/C

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Arlington/Boston MA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Foam insulation on furnace/heat pipes - good or bad ?

    Thanks for replying -
    First it is forced hot water -NOT steamheat and NO forced hot air at all. No duct work involved here.

    We have good heavy castiron baseboard radiators (good shape) all around upstairs and in 1/3 finished basement.
    Other 1/3 is half-finished no baseboard heat but furnace/boiler/ & water heater/ gas dryer/washer located here w/ portable small electric heater.
    Last 1/3 is drivein garage under upstairs bedrooms (which are lil colder then rest of upstairs. Garage is not heated but slightly /not great insulated - with some hot water radiator pipes running thru it to deliver water to upstairs baseboards
    So garage gets some radiated heat (a lil) off these 1.5 in pipes
    So we have really 3 sections to our basement.
    (but if heat always rises - doesn't the radiated heat off uninsulated pipes really help heat the ceiling of basement/floor of upstairs thereby help heat the whole house basically ??

    Mostly worried about the hot water boiler/furnace running harder/more now and the red circulating pump maybe by wrapping up pipes in the foam insulation .
    So should I be concerned ?

    It is a full closed loop circulating system even w/ expansion tank overhead. I did drain exp tank in late fall - came out nice clean and cold water automatically connects into it.

    I did/do have foam insulation on right down to main outbound 1.5" pipe coming from top of boiler/furnace down close to about 6" from top of furnace coveinrg up about 6' up. This pipe is definitely the Hottest of them all.
    Should I remove this foam insulation to just let that pipe breathe and radiate ?

    Thanks!

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