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insulating black pipe for gas hot water furnace

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  • insulating black pipe for gas hot water furnace

    I'm trying to decide whether or not it would be beneficial to insulate the black pipe, or at least the hotter outgoing pipe from the furnace, in order to force the heat to the radiators more quickly and decrease the firing cycle. I live in an old 3 story row house with 12 old free standing cast iron radiators which are connected to a 100,000 BTU natural gas furnace in the basement. The heated water travels over a vast network of black pipe in the basement ceiling through pipe diameters ranging from 2.5" OD to roughly 1" OD. Given the large volume of water in the basement pipes alone, I'm thinking it would be wise to block the heat with perhaps fiberglass or some other material. The temp in the basement is often about the same as the first floor in the winter!

    Would insulation work well in this situation, and, if so, what would be the best type and R value for the job? Thank you!

  • #2
    Re: insulating black pipe for gas hot water furnace

    Don't you like a warm basement? Your idea should work. Heat pipes are frequently insulated.

    Energy is conserved. If you insulate the pipes they should have less heat loss in the basement. If the water temperature is marginally higher in the radiators then the heat transfer should be marginally greater. Thermostat satisfied sooner, boiler shuts off sooner.
    Time flies like an arrow.

    Fruit flies like a banana.

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    • #3
      Re: insulating black pipe for gas hot water furnace

      That's what I'm hoping! Do you have a suggestion as to what type of insulation I should use? Given some of the large pipe diameters I was thinking of 3' pieces of fiberglass insulation. Would half inch thickness work? That's what they have at Home Depot. I've also seen 1 inch thickness. The pipes don't get much hotter than 180 F. Thanks!

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