I have just purchased a house with low pressure steam radiators and an
oil furnace. The pipes in the basement that feed the radiators were
insulated with asbestos, which we had professionally removed over the
The previous owners had installed insulation in the ceiling of the
basement. Now as you can imagine, with un-insulated steam pipes
radiating heat and the insulated ceiling holding it in, our unfinished
basement is always rather toasty, which I am sure is an in-efficient
way to be heating our house.
Eventually, I plan on insulating the pipes and removing the ceiling
insulation, but which one will have a bigger positive impact on my
I can't think of any common reason to insulate the basement ceiling.
Likewise I can't think of any reason to remove it.
Insulation the pipes should save some energy, but maybe not as much as
you think. Most, but not all of the energy coming from the popes ends up in
your home. However I would insulate.
Should have left it. In place, it is harmless. Oh well, too late now.
Heat does rise you you will be getting some of the benefits along the way.
Not a total waste, but still some waste trhough the basement walls..
Maybe neither. If you insulate the pipes, the steam will carry further
before it condenses but the heat is still moving from the basement to the
For some reason, basement ceilings are now insulated. It may be some
regulation about heated living spaces that I'm not aware of. If nothing
else, insulating the pipes will give you more control over where the heat
energy goes. Plumbing supply houses carry a fiberglass type insulation made
just for pipes. Goes on easily in sections and has a tape to keep it in
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